When many California couples get married, they sign a premarital agreement. This is designed to protect a person who might have more resources than the other or owns a business. It can also be used as a means for both sides to be shielded in case the marriage fails. Often, people think that a premarital agreement is limited to those who have significant assets, but that is not always true.
Regardless of the situation and reason for it, it is important to understand when the agreement might be held unenforceable. The premarital agreement will be unenforceable if it was not agreed to voluntarily. It will also be unenforceable if it is deemed unconscionable. For a premarital agreement to be deemed unconscionable, the person who signed it must not have been given a fair, full and reasonable disclosure of the other person’s property and debts.
When there is a claim that the agreement was not signed voluntarily, it can be combated by the following: the party who signed the agreement and is contesting it had independent legal representation when the agreement was signed or was advised to get legal representation and waived that right; the person had at least seven calendar days from when the agreement was presented and the advice to get legal counsel was given and then was signed; the person was informed of the effect of the agreement and what would be surrendered by signing it; the agreement was not signed through undue influence, fraud or duress; and other factors the court considers important.
In a divorce, property division can be one of the most complicated aspects to navigate. If the parties have a premarital agreement and one party would like to have it nullified, this can have a significant impact on how property will be distributed. For those who are concerned about a premarital agreement and its validity, having legal assistance is key. A law firm that understands all areas of divorce should be called for guidance and advice.