California has strict and detailed requirements for an enforceable prenuptial agreement include the following:
- Both parties must be independently represented by separate attorneys, unless a spouse is advised to seek legal representation and waives hiring an attorney in a separate written instrument.
- Both parties must have at least seven (7) calendar days from the time they are first presented with the agreement to study and consider it before signing.
- If one of the parties is not represented by an attorney (and has signed a separate written waiver) he or she must be fully informed in writing, prior to signing, of the terms and basic effect of the agreement as well as the rights and obligations he or she is giving up by signing the agreement.
In the preparation of a premarital agreement each party is required to prepare and disclosure all of their assets and liabilities to the other party.
An expensive aspect of prenuptial can arise if a fiance doesn’t retain counsel to explain the premarital agreement to him or her. In that event the attorney will have to draft a fairly extensive letter fully informing the fiance of the terms and basis effect of the premarital and the rights and obligations he or she is giving up. This letter is involved and expensive—it may be less costly to pay an independent attorney to review the agreement and orally explain it to him or her.
Divorce Helpline can assist with any questions regarding prenuptial legal requirements or general questions. For details on prenuptial agreements check out our articles on the impact of prenuptial agreements on nuptials, common provisions, and what is enforceable.