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Fairness is key for a premarital agreement to be valid

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2022 | Divorce

Since there are so many people in California who enter a marriage with significant assets, premarital agreements are common. The objective is not to plan to get divorced, but to be prepared and protected if the marriage does not work out. However, when there is a premarital agreement, people might be surprised to find that aspects of it can be called into question.

One reason why the agreement could be rendered invalid or disputes could occur is if one side claims the premarital agreement is “unconscionable.” This means unreasonable or unfair. For people who want to have the agreement upheld and those who want it changed so they get more than they would if it stayed in effect, it is important to understand the law and to have professional help for the case.

What must be in place for the agreement to be reasonable

When signing a premarital agreement, the property that each party has must be known. If the person who entered the marriage with greater assets did not inform the other party of what they owned, this could be a reason to challenge the agreement’s validity. For example, if the person owned real estate in another state or had bank accounts that were kept secret, that would change the total value of their assets.

It is also unfair under the terms of the agreement if the person with fewer assets who signed the agreement to limit what they would get in a divorce did not give a written waiver of property and financial disclosure of extra assets. In other words, the person would have been required to waive knowing about the previous example of real estate in a different state.

If the person did not have or could not have had full knowledge of the other person’s property and finances, this too is unconscionable. The court will assess attempts to question the agreement and proceed with its decision based on the law.

For issues with a premarital agreement, it is imperative to have legal assistance

Those who have been fortunate enough to accrue wealth will want to shield themselves if their marriage fails. A premarital agreement is designed to do that. Still, some might dispute whether it should be followed.

From the perspective of the person who had greater wealth or the person who was asked to sign the agreement before the marriage, it is essential to understand unconscionability and if the agreement could be nullified. Calling legal professionals who specialize in family law and high-asset divorce can be helpful.