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California Family Code Sections 1610 - 1617

1610.  As used in this chapter:

   (a) "Premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective

spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon

marriage.

   (b) "Property" means an interest, present or future, legal or

equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property,

including income and earnings.

 

1611.  A premarital agreement shall be in writing and signed by both

parties. It is enforceable without consideration.

 

1612.  (a) Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with

respect to all of the following:

   (1) The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of

the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired

or located.

   (2) The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon,

lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in,

mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control

property.

   (3) The disposition of property upon separation, marital

dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other

event.

   (4) The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out

the provisions of the agreement.

   (5) The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit

from a life insurance policy.

   (6) The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.

   (7) Any other matter, including their personal rights and

obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing

a criminal penalty.

   (b) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected

by a premarital agreement.

   (c) Any provision in a premarital agreement regarding spousal

support, including, but not limited to, a waiver of it, is not

enforceable if the party against whom enforcement of the spousal

support provision is sought was not represented by independent

counsel at the time the agreement containing the provision was

signed, or if the provision regarding spousal support is

unconscionable at the time of enforcement. An otherwise unenforceable

provision in a premarital agreement regarding spousal support may

not become enforceable solely because the party against whom

enforcement is sought was represented by independent counsel.

 

1613.  A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage.

 

1614.  After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or

revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The

amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without

consideration.

 

1615.  (a) A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party

against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following:

   (1) That party did not execute the agreement voluntarily.

   (2) The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and,

before execution of the agreement, all of the following applied to

that party:

   (A) That party was not provided a fair, reasonable, and full

disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other

party.

   (B) That party did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in

writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial

obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided.

   (C) That party did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an

adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the

other party.

   (b) An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall

be decided by the court as a matter of law.

   (c) For the purposes of subdivision (a), it shall be deemed that a

premarital agreement was not executed voluntarily unless the court

finds in writing or on the record all of the following:

   (1) The party against whom enforcement is sought was represented

by independent legal counsel at the time of signing the agreement or,

after being advised to seek independent legal counsel, expressly

waived, in a separate writing, representation by independent legal

counsel.

   (2) The party against whom enforcement is sought had not less than

seven calendar days between the time that party was first presented

with the agreement and advised to seek independent legal counsel and

the time the agreement was signed.

   (3) The party against whom enforcement is sought, if unrepresented

by legal counsel, was fully informed of the terms and basic effect

of the agreement as well as the rights and obligations he or she was

giving up by signing the agreement, and was proficient in the

language in which the explanation of the party's rights was conducted

and in which the agreement was written. The explanation of the

rights and obligations relinquished shall be memorialized in writing

and delivered to the party prior to signing the agreement. The

unrepresented party shall, on or before the signing of the premarital

agreement, execute a document declaring that he or she received the

information required by this paragraph and indicating who provided

that information.

   (4) The agreement and the writings executed pursuant to paragraphs

(1) and (3) were not executed under duress, fraud, or undue

influence, and the parties did not lack capacity to enter into the

agreement.

   (5) Any other factors the court deems relevant.

 

1616.  If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that

would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only

to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.

 

1617.  Any statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting

a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the

marriage of the parties to the agreement. However, equitable defenses

limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel,

are available to either party.


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