Many people living in and around San Diego have substantial assets. As such, they will often ask their prospective spouses to enter into prenuptial agreements before they wed. The California Courts will generally enforce prenuptial agreements unless unenforceable under Family Law Code Section 1615, with some exceptions. For example, a Court may decline to enforce part or all of an agreement on the grounds that it is unconscionable. In a recent California opinion, the Court discussed when unconscionability is assessed in a matter in which it rejected portions of a prenuptial agreement despite the husband’s objections. If you have questions regarding the enforceability of prenuptial agreements, it is wise to promptly confer with a San Diego prenuptial agreement lawyer.
History of the Case
Allegedly, the husband and wife entered into a prenuptial agreement in 1994 that defined their rights and obligations with regard to spousal support and community property. The case proceeded to trial, during which the Court considered, among other things, whether the prenuptial agreement should be enforced. The Trial Court ultimately ruled that the provisions in the prenuptial agreement that limited the wife’s right to spousal support were unconscionable and declined to enforce them. The husband appealed, arguing that the Trial Court erred by determining whether the terms were unconscionable at the time of enforcement instead of when they were drafted.
Evaluating the Unconscionability of Prenuptial Agreements
The Appellate Court rejected the husband’s reasoning and affirmed the Trial Court’s determination. The Appellate Court noted that the wife struggled with mental health issues throughout her life and that she and the husband had vastly different assets when they entered into the prenuptial agreement. Additionally, the agreement provided very little for the wife in terms of property division and spousal support in contrast to the husband’s means and the couple’s standard of living. Continue reading