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Can I fight a prenuptial agreement?

While it might be considered unromantic, a prenuptial agreement can be a good decision for a California spouse-to-be who is concerned about protecting assets, whether they are personal or business ones. But what happens if, somewhere down the road, you decide the marriage is not working and you think the agreement is unfair? Can you fight it? Maybe.

According to FindLaw, any agreement or contract that is exceptionally unfair, leaving one party destitute while the other thrives, is one that courts typically will not enforce. These types of agreements are known as “unconscionable” contracts.

Both parties must have full knowledge of the other’s assets, income and liabilities. If either party fails to disclose or is untruthful about, items of this nature, the contract is not enforceable.

If your agreement is a verbal one only, it is invalid; only premarital agreements that are in writing can be enforced. How the document is executed is another point to consider. If you or your spouse do not sign it before the wedding, thinking you can attend to formalities later, think again. You both must sign it before exchanging vows.

Provisions of the document cannot be illegal and they cannot modify child support. These are illegal provisions, and while they do not necessarily invalidate the entire document, the provisions are void.  

Did your spouse, his or her family or lawyer try to pressure you into signing? Did you have the opportunity to read the agreement beforehand? If you were pressured or bullied into signing, or simply did not have the time to read it, these circumstances can invalidate it.

Along with having time to read it before signing, you must have time to fully consider the prenuptial agreement. Mull it over and if you have any questions, ask an attorney to clarify the language. If you are given the document just before the wedding ceremony, it might be invalid.

Even if you do understand the legalese, you should have the agreement reviewed by an expert first. Like the marriage certificate itself, a prenuptial agreement deserves your full consideration.

Although this information can give you some idea of what to look for, it is intended only for educational purposes, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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