Can California Premarital Agreements Have Terms on Alimony?

There are many different goals premarital agreements (also known as prenups) can be aimed towards. One is to set clear expectations as to what will happen with key financial issues if a divorce occurs. This can help protect a person’s financial interests in the event of a divorce.

One financial issue that can be very impactful in a divorce is spousal support. Can prenups contain terms regarding what will happen with alimony should a divorce occur?

Spousal support is among the issues that can be addressed in premarital agreements here in California. However, under state law, there are certain things that can make spousal-support-related terms in such agreements unenforceable.

One is if the party the provision would be enforced against did not have the representation of independent legal counsel when he or she signed the agreement. It is required that both parties have an attorney.

The other is if a court determines that enforcing the provision would be unconscionable either at the time of the signing or at the timing of the enforcement.

Also, there are certain things that could make an entire prenup unenforceable. One example is it being determined that the agreement was not reached voluntarily.

So, when using a premarital agreement to try to address financial issues that could come up in a divorce, such as spousal support, it is very important for a person to stay away from things that could invalidate parts of the agreement or the agreement as a whole. Otherwise, the agreement’s ability to achieve its intended goals could be severely compromised. Family law attorneys can assist individuals with avoiding enforceability problems when it comes to prenups.

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