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Prenuptial Agreements and Their Validity



What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

        A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between the two parties that are about to be conjoined in marriage. In California, these agreements must be made in writing to even start the process of becoming valid. The Prenuptial agreement acts as an insurance policy if one of the two parties decides to end the marriage in any fashion. There are codes that the agreement must adhere to in order to become legally binding.[1] Some of these rules include:


-          Both parties must voluntarily sign the deal. Meaning neither party can be coerced into signing the Prenuptial Agreement.

-          There must be full disclosure of all property, finances, and the obligations of both. This means, that you may not hide anything of value from your partner in the agreement, or hide any debt related to finances and property.

-          The time between the presentation of the agreement and the signing of the agreement must be at least seven days. (This cannot be waived in any fashion)

-          Both parties must be represented by legal counsel unless expressed otherwise by a written waiver.


There are many more rules that apply to prenuptial agreements, so you should check with your attorney to see if your Prenuptial Agreement is valid. [2]


How to Make Amendments to Your Prenuptial Agreement

            Making amendments to your Prenuptial Agreement can be a dizzying process, however it is possible. The first step to making the necessary change or changes to your legal document should be to contact a  legal team. They can guide you through the process of making these changes, and also add validity to those changes.[3] Some things to keep in mind are:


-          It is very difficult to get custodial rights to children in a Prenuptial Agreement.

-          You cannot lawfully bind someone to do household duties, make a schedule for performing sexual acts, make an addendum for at-fault divorce (I.E. Drug use that leads to divorce, Adultery that leads to divorce, etc.)[1]


Important things to Remember

Here are some things to keep in mind when filing a Prenuptial Agreement.

-          Child support (under California Law) cannot be decided in a Prenuptial Agreement.

-          The Prenuptial Agreement cannot overly favor one of the parties.

-          Spousal Support cannot be decided or waived in any circumstance and is not enforceable if done so in the Prenuptial Agreement.

-          The Courts can willingly declare the agreement invalid for any reason it sees fit.


Remember, this article is not meant for legal purposes, and as such should not be treated as legal advice. Always consult with an attorney, as special circumstances may apply to your case.Certified Family Law Specialist, has decades of experience helping clients in all areas of family law. See Neill Marangi



[1], Prenuptial Agreements California, Copyright 2003-2012, Date Accessed 6/12/12

[2], Family Code 1610-1617, Date Accessed 6/12/12

[3], Modifications and Prenuptials, Copyright 2012, Date Accessed 6/12/12