Can You Invalidate a Prenup That Addresses Spousal Support?
If you are getting divorced and have a prenuptial agreement in place, you should discuss the impact of your prenup with a Huntington Beach divorce lawyer. You may be able to invalidate your prenup if you do not want certain clauses enforced, such as a clause in a prenup which addresses the issue of spousal support. While this is possible under certain limited circumstances, however, generally prenuptial agreements will be enforced and can be controlling on both whether spousal support was waived as well as on the amount of spousal support.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP has helped many couples who are divorcing to make persuasive arguments for their preferred outcomes regarding spousal support. We will work hard to help make sure you can protect your finances as you end your marriage. Give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to find out more about California laws on support and on how Huntington Beach divorce lawyer can help.
The Impact of a Prenuptial Agreement on Spousal Support
When couples do not have a prenuptial agreement, California Family Code section 4320 provides details on the things a court should consider when determining whether to award support and what amount of support to order.
If the couple has entered into a prenuptial agreement, however, the legally binding contract between the two spouses could be controlling instead of the default family law. A couple who creates a prenup is allowed to negotiate on the issue of spousal support and clauses addressing the issue are generally enforceable.
This is different from the rules related to child support. Spouses who negotiate a prenuptial agreement generally cannot include clauses limiting or waiving child support, because the right to support belongs to the child and because it is against public policy to enforce clauses in which parents are absolved of their support obligations.
Can You Invalidate a Prenuptial Agreement Addressing Spousal Support?
While a prenuptial agreement that addresses spousal support is usually going to be legally valid and a clause waiving or limiting support will usually be enforceable, there are certain circumstances in which this is not the case. Some of the primary circumstances in which a court will not enforce a prenup’s clauses on support for spouses include:
- When the prenuptial agreement was not entered into voluntarily: If either party did not fully act of his own volition, the prenuptial agreement may not be considered valid.
- If the party the agreement is being enforced against didn’t have a lawyer. When the prenup is created, each party is entitled to have independent legal representation. If the spouse who is being held to a spousal support clause didn’t have a lawyer, provisions concerning spousal support will not be enforced. For other aspects of a prenuptial agreement, the contract can be enforced even if the person it is being enforced against did not have a lawyer, as long as the right to counsel was waived. This is not the the case for spousal support provisions.
- If either party didn’t have legal capacity to enter into a contract. Only people who are legally adults and of sound mind can enter into a legally valid contract.
- If disclosure requirements weren’t met and the contract is unconscionable. Unconscionable contracts unduly favor one party and don’t involve free choice or opportunity to negotiate. The contract must have been unconscionable when created, and the party who the contract is being enforced against must not have received full disclosure of the economic and financial situation of the other party.
- If the contract violates public policy. Prenuptial agreements can violate public policy in certain situations, such as when there were morality clauses in the prenup or when there are contract clauses related to raising children with certain religious beliefs.
These are some examples of situations where prenuptial agreements, or parts of prenuptial agreements, will not be enforced. If you wish to have a prenup invalidated so it does not control on the issue of spousal support in your divorce, it will be very important to be represented by a qualified Huntington Beach divorce lawyer to help you choose the right legal arguments. Having an attorney is also important if you want a prenup enforced and your spouse is trying to convince the court not to apply the contract’s terms in determining support.
Getting Help from a Huntington Beach Divorce Lawyer
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with invaluable help in arguing for your preferred outcome on the issue of spousal support. Give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.