image of a cardboard broken hear with the word "prenup" split in have running across it.

Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Challenged in Divorce?

Understanding How Prenuptial Agreements Work

Entering into a prenuptial agreement in California means that you and your future spouse have mapped out how assets and incomes will be protected for both parties in the event of a divorce. While it goes without saying that you don’t enter into marriage with the intention of getting divorced, prenuptial agreements can give couples peace of mind.

While prenuptial agreements are recognized and enforceable in California, there are some instances where a prenup agreement can be challenged. Here’s what you need to know:

The Agreement Was Not Entered Into Voluntarily

Signing a prenuptial agreement typically means that both parties entered into the contract voluntarily with free will. If the contract is not based on free will, it is not enforceable. An agreement is considered non-voluntary if:

  • The party against whom the prenup agreement is being enforced did not have legal representation
  • The party against whom the prenup agreement is being enforced did not refuse legal representation.
  • The party against whom the prenup agreement is being enforced is not proficient in English and the agreement was not translated into their native language.
  • The agreement must have been entered into without fraud, duress, or undue influence.

If the party waives its right to legal representation, it must be in writing in a separate document outside of the prenuptial agreement.

The Agreement Includes Unconscionable Disclosure

If the prenuptial agreement is deemed to be unconscionable, it will not be enforceable. The agreement must show both procedural and substantive unconscionability:

  • Procedural - Unequal bargaining power and unexpected provisions.
  • Substantive - The agreement is one-sided without justifications.

The Agreement Has Public Policy Violations

If an agreement violates public policy, then it will not be enforceable. Some examples of public policy violations are:

  • Penalizing one party for not unreasonably living up to moral or religious standards of conduct.
  • Provisions for damages for marital infidelity.
  • Provisions relating to domestic services and companionship.
  • Provisions involving the religious upbringing of a future child.

Need Help With a Divorce? Dan McCandless Law Is Here For You.

Going through a divorce is a challenging experience. It can be both mentally and financially taxing on everyone involved. While it may seem like it will turn into a never-ending battle, know that you are not alone, and help and support are available. Our team of caring lawyers is here to answer your questions and walk you through every step of the divorce process. We are committed to defending your rights while keeping your best interests in mind.

Contact Dan McCandless Law today at (858) 266-9171 to request a free consultation.