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Your prenuptial agreement may not hold up in court

While many California couples may recognize the importance of a prenuptial agreement, some may not realize the importance of ensuring that such an important document complies with all the legal requirements of the state. The first requirement may seem obvious; however, it is crucial not to make verbal agreements, as only a written prenuptial agreement will be valid. Furthermore, the signatures of both parties should be present on the document that should carry a date prior to the marriage.

In the unfortunate event of future litigation, the court will consider whether one party may have been coerced by the other party, his or her family or legal counsel to sign the document. If one party can show that he or she were not given the opportunity to read and consider the document before signing it, the agreement may be declared invalid. Both parties should be afforded the time to carefully consider the agreement, and even have it checked for legality, before signing it.

Premarital agreements may not contain any provisions that are unlawful; this includes any provisions related to child custody and the modification of child support orders. The court may choose to strike any invalid provisions, rather than declaring the complete contract invalid. The court also expects both parties to have provided full disclosure related to their assets and liabilities, along with fully disclosed income. Any false or incomplete financial information may result in an agreement being rejected.

Contracts that contain grossly unfair provisions that may leave one party prosperous and the other facing extreme financial hardship may be found invalid. To ensure validity, the law requires each party to have his or her own legal representation who will ensure a fair premarital agreement is crafted. California couples who want to ensure that their prenuptial agreement meets all legal requirements may benefit from visiting our prenuptial and postnuptial website for more information.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid", , Sept. 4, 2014

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
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