Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement in Southern California
There can be many benefits to drafting a prenuptial agreement before a wedding that can set expectations and resolve issues of the property before they ever arise in a family. However, there are some important steps that each side must take in order to create a valid agreement between them.
At the Simpson Law Group, our experienced California family law attorneys are here to help with the best practices when crafting this type of agreement and can help in your case. To learn more, contact our office today.
Do: Disclose Your Full Financials
It is critical when drafting a prenuptial agreement that each side fully discloses their full financials, both assets and debts. Failing to fully disclose financial information is one of the leading causes of determining a prenuptial agreement invalid in court. A spouse is not allowed to withhold information or hide assets prior to the signing of a prenuptial agreement in order to greater benefit themselves in a future divorce. If a spouse is discovered to have not fully disclosed their financial information, the court could rule the entire agreement invalid or void any agreements on property distribution based on the false disclosure.
Don’t: Include Unconscionable Terms
It is also important when drafting a prenuptial agreement that a spouse does not include unconscionable terms. An agreement can be deemed unconscionable if the terms are so unfair, unjust, or against public policy that the court has no choice but to invalidate the agreement. Common examples of unconscionable terms are leaving one spouse with nothing or close to nothing in the property distribution and demanding that a spouse perform housework or intimate acts in order to maintain their side of the agreement. The court may invalidate the unconscionable terms or the entire agreement depending on the extent of the unconscionability in the document.
Do: Check What Can be Included
Do be sure to check with your attorney when creating a prenuptial agreement about what terms can be included in this type of contract. For example, property distribution and estate planning elements are common in California prenuptial agreements, especially when mixing families. However, a couple is not allowed to predetermine child support in a prenuptial agreement, and that term can be struck in future divorce deliberations. An experienced attorney can ensure that everything included is allowed and in accordance with state law.
Don’t: Pressure the Other to Sign
Finally, do not pressure the other spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement. Using duress or coercion to force a person to sign a prenuptial agreement is grounds for nullification. Each person must have the time to review the document and receive advice from independent legal counsel. You cannot surprise a person with the document and demand they sign it right before walking down the aisle.
Contact a Respected Family Law Attorney in Southern California Today
Do you have more questions about what you can and cannot do when creating a valid prenuptial agreement in California? If so, the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at the Simpson Law Group are here to help. Call the office or contact us online to schedule a consultation of your case today.