California Prenuptial Agreements
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Is a California Prenuptial Agreement Iron-Clad Under All Circumstances?

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When you enter into a premarital or prenuptial agreement, you secured your rights against any unforeseen future possibility of a divorce.

When you enter into a premarital or prenuptial agreement, you might assume that you have secured your rights against any unforeseen future possibility of a divorce. However, you should be aware that this agreement is enforceable only when it was made in compliance with California laws. A knowledgeable California prenup lawyer can help ensure that there are no legal deficiencies in your agreement that may allow the other party to challenge it in the future.

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Circumstances that May Invalidate a Prenup Agreement

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In general, the law in California presumes that a prenup is a contract that reflects the actual intent of both persons that are a party to it. However, this does not mean that the right to enforce this agreement is completely unrestricted. A premarital agreement may be considered legally unenforceable under specific conditions. If a spouse can prove that he or she signed the prenuptial agreement under duress, overreaching, or coercion or through deceit, fraud, or misrepresentation by the other party, a California family court may set aside the agreement. For example, if a lack of full financial disclosure on part of one spouse can be proved, it may render the agreement invalid.

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Prenup should be Signed Sufficiently Prior to the Wedding

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In California, one party cannot ask their soon-to-be-spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement too close to the date of wedding. The principle behind this rule is that bringing up the issue of prenup just before the wedding can put undue pressure on the other party to sign for the fear of cancellation of the wedding. This rule also protects the other party’s right to hire a lawyer if they want prior to signing the prenup.

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Waiver of Counsel

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The party that is proposing the prenuptial agreement may have consulted with a lawyer and prepared a draft to protect their own rights in the unfortunate event of a divorce. California law also gives the same opportunity to the other party before they enter into a premarital agreement. If the other party decides against hiring the services of a prenup lawyer, they should separately sign a document called Waiver of Counsel.

These are some of the subtle aspects of law that should be carefully considered before you go ahead with making a prenuptial agreement in California. Talk to a competent and knowledgeable prenup attorney who can help ensure that your agreement will hold true in a court of law.

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