A prenuptial agreement can serve as a great tool for mitigating common divorce issues, such as the division of property and alimony. Unfortunately, in our experience, there are flaws in the vast majority of California premarital agreements. Such flaws often render those agreements invalid. Our legal team at Butler, Thiessen & Metzinger, Inc., often reviews prenuptial agreements with clients to ensure the documents are valid.
According to section 1615 of the California Family Code, there are two main reasons for which a court may render your premarital agreement invalid. The first is if you did not enter the agreement voluntarily, such as if your spouse pressured you into the agreement even though you were not comfortable with signing it. The second is if the agreement is in any way unconscionable, meaning that it did not provide a fair, judicious and complete disclosure of your spouse’s property and/or the financial obligations of both of you. If you can prove that one of these two factors is true, the judge may render the contract void.
Your spouse may counteract claims of invalidity by claiming that both of you had legal representation at the time of signing the contract, or that you waived your right to legal counsel entirely. However, if you chose to waive your right to counsel, your spouse must provide proof that you had seven calendar days to fully review the agreement, and that you fully understood the terms and implications of the agreement.
For more information about protecting property rights through a prenuptial agreement, visit our webpage.