If you’ve gone through the trouble of asking your soon-to-be spouse to sign a premarital agreement, also known as a prenup, you want to make sure it will be enforced by the court. Many times, a couple will write a prenup, either by themselves or with the assistance of an attorney not experienced in family law matters, believe that it is valid, and then come to find out when they go through the process of ending their marriage that it will not be enforced by the court.
So how do you draft a valid prenup in California that will give you financial security and protection? First, contact an expert family law attorney in Los Angeles skilled in drafting prenups for couples of varying financial background. Second, make sure that your prenup does not contain one of the common reasons a court determines a prenup to be invalid.
Reasons Prenups are Not Enforceable in California
- The agreement was not executed voluntarily – a premarital agreement may not be valid if one of the spouses was pressured by the other (or by his or her lawyer or family) to sign the agreement.
- The agreement was procured by fraud – a prenup is valid only if it is entered into after full disclosure by both parties as to their income, assets, and liabilities. If one spouse provides the other with information that is not accurate or truthful, the agreement is invalid.
- One of the parties did not have capacity to enter into the contract
- The agreement promotes divorce
- The agreement covers custody and child support – this portion may be severable from the rest of the contract
- The agreement has an illegal purpose – contracts are illegal if the performance or formation of the agreement will cause the parties to engage in activity that is illegal.
- The agreement is unconscionable – if the agreement is so grossly unfair that one party would face severe financial hardship while the other prospered, the court is unlikely to enforce it.
- The agreement limits spousal support and you were not represented
- The agreement covers personal behavior – this portion may be severable from contract
- You did not have a lawyer and the rules in Cal Family Code §1615 were not followed
- You are not fluent in English and the rules in Cal Family Code §1615 were not followed
To ensure that your prenup is valid and enforceable, contact the expert family attorney at the Los Angeles family law firm of Walzer Melcher LLP today.