Your Guide Through Challenging Times

What can invalidate your prenup?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Divorce |

Couples who enter a marriage with a prenuptial contract agree to abide by the agreement’s terms if they divorce. Although a prenup may meet a couple’s needs upon its inception, it is not always ironclad.

These are the circumstances in which the court may invalidate a prenup.

Improper execution

California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act allows prospective spouses to determine how they will distribute their assets if they divorce. At a minimum, a valid prenup must be in writing with uncoerced signatures of both parties and a notary. In addition, the parties may not share representation or include provisions for child custody, visitation and support in their agreement.

Unreasonable terms

A family court judge may invalidate a prenup with unconscionable terms that disproportionately favors one spouse’s interests. For example, a prenup is unenforceable if it predetermines that a spouse’s specific behavior leading to a marriage’s dissolution can deprive that person of an equal division of marital assets under California’s no-fault divorce laws. A prenup may also be unenforceable if it attempts to dictate spousal support terms that threaten to leave one spouse with severe financial hardship.

Exclusion of assets

A spouse who signs a prenup that omits the full extent of the other’s assets and liabilities may petition the California court to invalidate the agreement. When creating a prenup, both parties must provide details about their financial circumstances that they can review before signing the document. Otherwise, the prenup becomes illegitimate if one spouse later discovers and proves the other’s non-disclosure to shelter assets from a divorce.

Knowing what a prenup can and cannot accomplish can help you avoid future conflicts and protect your valuable assets from a potentially devastating divorce.