When people get married, they are entering into a legal agreement with their spouse that involves so much more than just property and assets. But when people divorce, their property and assets must be divided. How the property gets divided is generally governed by state law. However, spouses can contract around state laws using marital property agreements.
Marital property agreements are frequently the driving force behind prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. However, they can also be entered into between spouses at any time. Generally, the purpose of a marital property agreement will be to change, or convert, or just clearly identify, the character of a piece of community property into separate property, or vice-versa. Another common use is to determine how future income from separate or joint property will be divided between the community and individual spouses (such as from a retirement account or pension).