Valid prenuptial agreement are harder than many think
Over the last few decades, large numbers of celebrities have been creating prenuptial agreements to financially protect themselves in the event of divorce. Seeing this, many Californians have drafted their own prenups the last few years. Anyone who signs a prenup should note, however, that marital contracts, including prenuptial agreements, are not necessarily air tight and often can be challenged and even declared invalid during divorce proceedings.
A prenuptial agreement can be nullified if the contract is signed under duress or through fraud. For that reason, prenuptial agreements signed a day before a wedding are often considered invalid, as is a prenuptial agreement that fails to fully disclose all assets and properties.
A court will also usually consider other factors when determining whether or not a prenuptial agreement is reasonable or fair. These involve alimony and property rights that would have been available from the divorce without the prenuptial agreement and what a judge or court would aware if there were no such document. If so, then the prenuptial agreement will likely be declared unfair and invalid, as it would be when the amount of alimony stipulated in a prenuptial agreement would be less than the recipient would receive without the prenuptial agreement. Furthermore, any inclusion of supposed agreements on child-custody arrangements and child support are almost always disregarded or nullified by the courts because the final determination of a child’s best interests cannot be predetermined by parents.
Having a prenuptial agreement may protect spouses in California from the financial impact of a marriage’s end, but spouses should be aware of the requirements they must meet when drafting a prenuptial agreement such as allotting adequate time for both potential spouses to review the prenup and that it should be in writing and be signed without duress. Meeting these requirements will go a long way toward making a prenuptial agreement valid during divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “When a Prenup Gets Thrown Out,” Stann Givens, July 1, 2014