How long before a wedding should a prenup be signed in California?
People often think about a prenuptial agreement relatively close to the wedding. One spouse may ask for it a month before the big day, for instance, and then scramble to get it all in place before tying the knot. Will it hold up in court? How soon before the wedding do you have to sign?
The law in California technically states that you need to sign at least a week before the week. You can’t show up on the wedding day with the marriage certificate in one hand and a prenup in the other. If it’s signed too close, it’s automatically invalid.
The reason for this is that bringing it up right before the wedding means the other party could be under duress, essentially forced to sign without taking the proper time to consider it.
What’s important to remember is that a prenup made outside of that 7-day window can also be invalid for the same reason. It won’t automatically be invalid if you sign it three weeks before the wedding, for instance, but a court may not honor it if you do end up getting divorced.
It depends on the circumstances. For example, maybe you already invited all of your friends and family to the wedding, booked all of your venues, and put down $10,000 in various advance payments to get everything ready. Maybe you got responses back from 250 people saying they’d be there, and those plans are set in stone.
If your soon-to-be-spouse then shows up with a prenup, you may be able to claim you were under duress and you only signed because you didn’t want to lose the $10,000 and have to tell everyone not to come to the wedding.
As you can see, it’s important not only to know the laws surrounding a prenup, but also to understand how the court may view a document that was legally signed. It’s best to sign the prenup as far in advance as possible.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Be a Secret,” Fred Silberberg, accessed March 14, 2017