Are California residents aware of the UPMAA? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Are California residents aware of the UPMAA?

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Divorce creates a unique set of challenges. In most cases, some of the challenges pertain to the various financial aspects of a divorce including property division, child support and alimony. In recent times, people who want to avert issues related to these aspects often sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that details how the aforementioned issues will be addressed in the event of divorce. The laws regulating such agreements in California were discussed in an earlier post.

Although most states have such statutes, the standards for regulating prenuptial or postnuptial agreements vary greatly from state to state. As a result, when divorcing couples move from one state to another, the enforcement of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement from another state is difficult.

In order to address this issue, the Uniform Law Commission proposed the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act in 2012. Part of the purpose of this Act is to establish procedural and substantive safeguards for postnuptial agreements and bring them in accord with the safeguards for prenuptial agreements.

The attributes of the UPMAA can be summarized into these seven points:

  • Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must be in writing and should be enforceable without consideration. This requirement modernizes most states' existing laws.
  • The UPMAA offers flexibility to couples and promotes responsible planning and informed decision making. The act also encourages couples to foresee issues that they may face in the future.
  • The UPMAA empowers courts in every state to have jurisdiction over a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement irrespective of where the execution of the agreement took place.
  • The act also permits the invalidation of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if courts find it to be unconscionable at the time of signing, provided there is adequate proof.
  • The UPMAA also prohibits the enforcement of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if a spouse entered into it involuntarily or if the agreement is found to be biased against a domestic violence victim.
  • The act affirms the traditional choice of law and conflict of the laws' principles in order to determine the validity and meaning of the prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. The law serves to solidify the concepts.

Source: Uniform Law Commission, "Why States Should Adopt UPMAA," Accessed on March 18, 2015

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