5 common causes of prenuptial litigation in California

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Marital Agreements

Prenuptial agreements should give couples a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities in the event of a divorce. However, disputes over prenups can arise, leading to litigation in California.

Understanding the common reasons behind prenuptial litigation can help couples navigate these challenges.

1. Financial disclosure discrepancies

Prenuptial agreements typically require both parties to disclose their assets, debts and income accurately. If one party fails to disclose all relevant financial information or provides false information, it can lead to disputes over the validity of the agreement.

2. Coercion or duress

Another reason for prenuptial litigation is the allegation of coercion or duress during the signing of the agreement. If one party can demonstrate that they signed the prenup under pressure, threats or undue influence from the other party, the agreement may be invalid. Proving coercion or duress can be challenging but is not uncommon.

3. Unconscionable terms

Prenuptial agreements must be fair and reasonable to both parties. If a court finds that certain terms of the agreement are unconscionable, meaning they are extremely unfair or one-sided, it may refuse to enforce those terms. Common examples of unconscionable terms include provisions that severely limit one party’s financial support or unfairly favor one spouse over the other.

4. Lack of legal representation

In some cases, prenuptial litigation occurs because one or both parties did not have adequate legal representation when drafting or signing the agreement. Without legal guidance, individuals may not fully understand their rights or the implications of the agreement.

5. Changes in circumstances

What may have been fair and reasonable at the time of the agreement may no longer be applicable. This can happen due to changes in finances, employment status or family dynamics. One party may seek to modify or invalidate the prenup when significant changes occur.

Couples considering a prenuptial agreement should carefully review their options and protect their interests.