In California, as in most states, engaged couples may enter into a legal-binding contract that will govern certain important issues in the event of a divorce, including especially questions of classification of future income, disposition of property, and spousal support. However, prenuptial agreements may not include issues of child custody and child support.
Great care must be taken to ensure that the prenuptial agreement is legally enforceable in the event of a divorce. In California, in order to be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must:
1. Be entered into only after full financial disclosure, which means that the parties to the prenuptial agreement have to tell the other what their true financial situation is. If one party withheld important information, then the court might choose not to enforce the prenuptial agreement.
2. There must be no coercion or undue influence, meaning that neither party may threatened the other in any way in order to force that party to sign the prenuptial agreement.
3. The prenuptial agreement must not be "unconscionable" at the time it is enforced, meaning that a court might not enforce part of the prenuptial agreement if it is deemed to be grossly unfair to one of the parties.
4. The parties must understand the agreement, meaning that, for example, if one party does not speak English it must be explained to him or her in their native language.
5. In prenuptial agreements where a party waives the right to spousal support, that party must have been advised by his or her own, independent attorney at the time the prenuptial agreement was signed.
I am a California attorney and I speak Russian fluently.
I have assisted many Russian-speaking clients with their prenuptial agreements. I can explain in Russian all the details of the prenuptial agreement in understandable terms.
My fee is generally $1500 per agreement. I can upon request and for an additional fee arrange and supervise an English-into-Russian translation of the prenuptial agreement.
* These blog posts do not constitute legal advice.