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Posted on April 12, 2019 in Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements are becoming an increasingly common and are no longer thought of as being for individuals who own lots of property, operate a successful business, or earn a considerable income. Prenuptial agreements (also known as a premarital agreement) are a way for parties before they get married to understand their rights and set forth how property will be managed, controlled, or disposed of in the event of a divorce. This will help to avoid potentially costly litigation over property and support.

It is important to consider whether a prenuptial agreement will be beneficial well in advance of the wedding date in order for the agreement to be enforceable.

In California, there is a seven-day rule. Under which, a prenuptial agreement will not be enforceable against a party who proves that they were “first presented with the agreement and advised to seek independent legal counsel” less than seven (7) calendar days before they signed the agreement. California Family Code section 1615, subdivision (c)(2), is in place to ensure that the party is provided at least 7 calendar days to review the agreement, consider their options, and have the opportunity to consult with their own attorney before signing.

Since prenuptial agreements significantly alter the way property will be distributed, California wants to ensure parties enter into these agreements voluntarily, with full knowledge of their rights and the financial implications. There should be no rush to enter into these agreements. Time should be taken to carefully consider how to manage, control or dispose of certain property and the set terms.

If the court finds that the seven-day review period did not take place, the prenuptial agreement is considered to have been entered into involuntarily and will be unenforceable in its entirety. The entire document will not be considered and property and financial support will be decided pursuant to California Law.

If you have questions about prenuptial agreements or your Family Law case in general, contact Scott & Matteson by calling (858) 974-4900.