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Situations in which your prenup may be invalid

At one time, it was widely believed that prenuptial agreements were only for the wealthy. Now that we all know otherwise, many modern California couples take advantage of prenups to address the family assets and to protect the interests of children.

Although you may feel secure about your prenup if divorce is on the table, it is important to understand why a court might render it invalid. Our attorneys always stress to our clients that a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document. This means that if the agreement is properly drafted and within the confines of family law, both parties must abide by the document.

However, some situations, like the examples listed below, could cause a court to overrule the agreement.

  • Invalid provisions: If your prenup contains language indicating that one spouse waives alimony or child support, the court will not enforce the document.
  • Coerced signature: If it can be proven that one spouse was forced or coerced into signing the agreement, it will be unenforceable.
  • Unread agreement: If one spouse signed the prenup without reading it, there is a chance it could be thrown out of court.
  • Grossly imbalanced: If an agreement would leave one spouse destitute and the other financially secure in a divorce, the court will overrule the document.
  • No separate legal counsel: If each spouse does not receive separate legal counsel when drafting a prenup, the court will likely dismiss the agreement.

Because very few people plan to divorce when they marry, many couples do not take prenuptial agreements as seriously as they should. We urge all people considering a prenuptial agreement to seek legal advice from a lawyer they trust. This ensures your interests remain protected if divorce ever enters the picture. Review our website if you need more information.

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Camarata & Marren, LLP
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