Is your California prenup valid?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2017 | Divorce, Firm News

If you are thinking of divorce, you may be wondering if your prenuptial agreement is going to hold up in court. As with many things in the legal arena, it depends. Divorce is almost always a tricky and complicated endeavor. Even if you think you took every precaution to protect your assets, the court might decide otherwise.

Part of preparing for divorce is understanding the various complications that will arise during the process. For example, is your prenuptial agreement valid? A divorce attorney in the Tulare area can help you through the divorce process. Read further for an overview of a valid California premarital agreement.


In order for a California divorce court to consider your prenuptial agreement valid, there are two requirements it must fulfill. First, the agreement must be in writing. Second, you and your wife must have both signed the agreement.

Any changes that the two of you made to the agreement during the marriage must also be in writing and signed. Additionally, in order for the court to enforce the contract, both you and your wife must have entered into the agreement voluntarily. You both need to have complete knowledge and a solid understanding of the terms laid out in the agreement. In other words, the contract must not be unfair or heavily favorable to one party over the other.


Premarital agreements can cover a wide range of topics. In general, the court will uphold the terms of your prenuptial contract as long as the terms do not violate the law or public policy. It is typical for these types of agreements to cover property rights. Yours might address your wife’s rights to your business, or how your main residence and vacation properties are treated in your divorce settlement.

Another topic commonly included in prenuptial agreements is ownership rights and disposition of death benefits from a life insurance policy. Your premarital agreement may already address most issues that might arise during your divorce.

Unenforceable terms

California maintains an interest in ensuring that parents always provide for their children’s needs. If the terms of your prenuptial agreement do not support the well-being of your children, the court may decide that is unenforceable.

If you already have a prenuptial agreement in place and you are considering divorce, it is important to know if the court will uphold the agreement. Protecting your assets is often a major part of any divorce.