If you have been
divorced before, you know how much trouble can arise in even the most amicable
child custody and more can all quickly get tangled up in litigation and your word against
your spouse’s. That is, unless you drafted a
Once frowned upon in the marital scene of America, prenuptial agreements
– also called premarital agreements – are gaining in popularity.
From people who marry with a significantly high estate value to those
who just want some peace of mind in knowing that there is a safety net
in place, you do not need to feel ashamed about drafting a prenuptial
agreement. You do need to make certain it is done correctly, though, or
else the whole thing could be determined invalid by the divorce court.
California’s Legal Statutes for Prenuptial Agreements
For about 30 years now, California State has adopted and followed the Uniform
Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) in regards to what constitutes a valid
prenuptial agreement. UPAA states that an agreement will outline what
to do with a married couple’s property, both collected before the
marriage and during it. It does not allow one spouse or the other to take
away a child’s need for
support and it cannot take away the court’s ability to make a final ruling
or verdict for child custody and visitation matters in a divorce.
Specific amendments were also added to UPAA in 2002. This portion of the
legislation is meant to clearly and concisely state what is required to
make a prenuptial agreement legally valid.
A prenuptial agreement may be deemed invalid if:
- Both spouses were informed of 100% of the other’s property and finances
- An entire week was granted to “think about” the agreement before
signature was needed.
- Both spouses had ample time to retain a professional divorce attorney for
In addition to these amendments, UPAA also mandates that no clauses on
spousal support in a prenuptial agreement can be deemed enforceable if
the receiving spouse never had an attorney review the contract first.
From Invalid to Valid with Professional Help
A prenuptial agreement could be deemed invalid if it is fraudulent, signed
without proper authority, or incorrectly filed. It can also be challenged
in court if it is blatantly one-sided, such as ruling out child support
payments altogether. If you think that your prenuptial agreement might
not hold water later down the road, you should allow a family law attorney
to review it. There is always the opportunity to revise it – with
the consent of your spouse, of course – and restore its validity.
Just in case.
If you are getting married and would like to safeguard you and your spouse’s
futures from trouble, talk to our Riverside divorce lawyers from Hanson,
Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today. We can provide you with dedicated
and experienced legal services, all focused on your comfort and best interests. Dial
951.687.6003 for a
free consultation today.