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Why your prenup might not be valid

When you got married a decade ago, even though you hoped that you would never have to use one, you signed a prenuptial agreement along with your spouse. But 10 years into the marriage, it's apparent to both of you that you are ill-matched to go the distance.

With a prenup in place, you expect that your exit strategy will be smooth and without rancor. But will that prenup even hold up in court?

It might not, and that could leave you or your spouse vulnerable during your California divorce. Below are some common reasons for invalidating prenups:

  • One spouse was pressured to sign. If you, your attorney or your family members pressured your spouse to sign the agreement, it may not be valid.
  • There was no time for a legal review. If you were handed the document just before walking down the aisle, there was no time for you and your attorney to thoroughly review it before you signed.
  • It contained invalid provisions. Any clause waiving child support for as-yet-unborn children could invalidate the entire agreement.
  • It was unconscionable. It's grossly unfair to one party. Either you or your spouse would suffer severe financial hardship due to the stringent terms.

These are not the only reasons to invalidate a prenup. To be sure that your prenuptial agreement could withstand a court challenge, make sure that your California family law attorney reviews its terms before you initiate a divorce action.

If you find that it is indeed invalid, all hope is not lost for an amicable divorce. Using alternative dispute resolution and/or mediation can help you work out terms for your divorce.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
699 Peters Avenue
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Pleasanton, CA 94566

Phone: 925-271-5650
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