Is your prenuptial agreement enforceable in California?

Typically, people who sign a prenuptial agreement expect that the terms will be binding. However, there are a few limited circumstances in which a court may strike down an agreement.

Married couples who are getting a divorce in California and have a prenuptial agreement should not automatically assume that a court will enforce it. Here are a few reasons why a judge or magistrate may be unwilling to enforce an agreement.

Duress

Any type of contract that a person signs under duress is unenforceable, and prenuptial agreements are no exception. If someone signs a prenuptial right before a wedding without any opportunity to have a lawyer review it, a court may infer that the singer was under duress.

Fraud

Concealing assets at the time that spouses sign an agreement may invalidate it. People cannot reasonably know what they are agreeing to if fraudulent informationation is influencing their decision.

Unconscionability

An agreement could be so inequitable to one party that a court will refuse to enforce its terms. An agreement may be unconscionable if it leaves one spouse with nothing while the other spouse has extraordinary wealth that he or she acquired during the marriage.

Child Support and Custody

Matters pertaining to child support and custody are within the jurisdiction of the state. Courts may strike down clauses in a prenuptial agreement that relate to caring for children.

Prenuptial agreements can be an effective way to avoid problems during a divorce, but only if they are enforceable. Before signing this type of agreement, both parties should review it independently.