Amending or Modifying a Prenuptial Agreement in California: What You Need to Know
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, is a legally binding contract that is entered into by a couple prior to their marriage. It sets forth the terms and conditions that will govern the couple’s financial and property rights in the event of a divorce or death. While prenuptial agreements are generally enforceable in California, there may be circumstances in which a couple may wish to amend or modify the terms of their agreement. Here’s what you need to know about amending or modifying a prenuptial agreement in California.
What are the grounds for amending or modifying a prenuptial agreement in California?
In California, a prenuptial agreement may be amended or modified if both parties agree to the changes in writing and the agreement is signed by both parties. However, if one party does not agree to the changes, the prenuptial agreement may only be amended or modified if certain grounds are met. These grounds include:
Fraud: If one party defrauded the other party in the original prenuptial agreement, the agreement may be amended or set aside.
Duress: If one party was coerced or threatened into signing the prenuptial agreement, the agreement may be amended or set aside.
Unconscionability: If the terms of the prenuptial agreement are extremely one-sided or oppressive, the agreement may be amended or set aside.
Material change in circumstances: If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the prenuptial agreement was signed, such as the birth of a child or a significant change in income, the agreement may be amended or modified.
Invalid provisions: If the prenuptial agreement contains provisions that are invalid or unenforceable under California law, the agreement may be amended or modified.
Overall, in order to amend or modify a prenuptial agreement in California, it is generally necessary to show that one of the above grounds exists. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your options and advise you on the best course of action to take.
What is the process for amending or modifying a prenuptial agreement in California?
If you and your spouse agree to amend or modify your prenuptial agreement, the process is relatively simple. You will need to both sign a written agreement outlining the changes that you are making and have the agreement properly executed.
If you and your spouse do not agree to the changes, the process is more complex. You will need to file a petition with the court seeking to have the prenuptial agreement amended or modified. In your petition, you will need to provide evidence supporting your claim that one of the grounds for amendment or modification exists. This might include documents, witness statements, or expert testimony.
The court will then hold a hearing to consider your petition and the evidence that you have presented. If the court finds that one of the grounds for amendment or modification exists, it may order that the prenuptial agreement be amended or modified as requested. If the court denies your petition, the prenuptial agreement will remain in effect.
Again, the best way to navigate these circumstances if you wish to amend or modify a prenuptial agreement is to enlist the help of a legal expert. At Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc., a Pasadena prenuptial agreement attorney can assist you throughout every step of the process. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at (626) 460-9525.