Premarital Agreements and the 7-Day Rule
In California, in order for a premarital agreement to be enforceable, it must comply with a ‘7-day rule.’ The California Family Code, specifically Section 1615 (c)(2)(B), introduced a crucial requirement for premarital agreements. This rule mandates that there must be a minimum of seven consecutive calendar days between the time one party is first presented with the final version of the prenuptial agreement and the time the agreement is signed. Essentially, if your prenuptial agreement is deemed final on June 1st, you should wait until June 9th or later to proceed with signing. At Foster Hsu LLP, we stay up to date on changes in all relevant laws to our clients and are prepared to apply the laws to your case to secure the best outcome possible.
Does This Law Change the Requirements of a Valid Prenuptial Agreement?
The requirements that existed before still apply, but with the 7-day requirement added to the list. Therefore, to ensure your prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable it must have the following conditions met:
- The agreement is in writing and signed by both parties,
- The parties signed the agreement voluntarily,
- Each party disclosed enough facts about their property and assets so the other party has made a fair and informed decision,
- Each party is either represented by their own attorney or the party waives their right to an attorney clearly in writing and signed, and
- Each party has reviewed the document with an attorney or, if they are not represented by counsel, reviewed the document themselves, at least 7 days prior to signing the document.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable is to reach out to an attorney for assistance.
What Happens if My Prenuptial Agreement Was Executed Prior to January 1, 2021?
According to the California Premarital Agreement Act, if your agreement was signed after January 1, 2002 and prior to January 1, 2020, the parties must have consulted with independent counsel 7 days prior to signing the agreement. The only difference is that for agreements signed after January 1, 2020, the party must have 7 calendar dates between being presented with the agreement regardless of whether they are represented by counsel.
What Does This Mean for My Premarital Agreement?
The 7-day rule emphasizes the importance of allocating an ample amount of time (ideally three to six months before the wedding) to initiate the prenuptial agreement process. By allowing sufficient time, you can ensure compliance with the 7-day rule and safeguard the validity of your prenuptial agreement. Failure to adhere to this rule due to time constraints could result in an invalid prenuptial agreement.
Therefore, proper planning and consideration are crucial to secure a legally binding and enforceable prenuptial agreement. The purpose of the 7-day rule is to provide both parties with sufficient time to carefully review and consider the terms of the agreement and seek legal advice if desired.
Schedule a Consultation with Our San Jose Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys Today
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is advisable to consult with our experienced San Jose prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorneys. At Foster Hsu LLP, we can guide you through the process, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and help protect your interests.