A prenuptial agreement can help protect your assets in the event of a Santa Clara County divorce, but only if it holds up in court. Here are some ways in which you can avoid common prenup pitfalls.
First, you must plan ahead. Prenups can be invalidated if they are signed too soon before the wedding, as this may indicate one party coerced the other into signing by threatening to back out of the nuptials. Prenups can also be invalidated if both parties don’t have separate and independent legal representation, so you must allow yourself time to find a suitable attorney. You should plan to take care of the prenup two or three months before the wedding. It’s best to end up with four signed copies of the document: one for you, one for your future spouse, and one for each of your attorneys.
Honesty is crucial when it comes to preparing a prenup. A prenup that fails to disclose all assets, properties, and debts will not hold up in a court of law. A valid prenup requires full disclosure. Omitting important details now will cost you dearly if you end up in divorce court later.
As to the terms of the agreement itself, keep in mind that a prenup absolutely can’t contain provisions that relate to child support. Parents are not allowed to forfeit support on behalf of a minor child, as the welfare of children is considered a matter of public interest. Unusual provisions, such as clauses requiring one person to handle all of the housework or agree to be penalized for weight gain after the wedding, are not enforceable in court and may weaken the entire agreement. The lower earning party is allowed to forfeit the right to spousal support and a share of community property, as long as the agreement is not considered to be unconscionably one-sided.
Finally, a prenup must be prepared in a way that is legally sound. This means avoiding ambiguous wording that could lead to misinterpretation.
The best way to ensure that your prenup will hold up in court is to contact a San Jose family law attorney with experience in preparing this type of document. This investment in your future will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re ready for the future.