Your prenuptial agreement may be the most crucial document you have when it comes to your divorce since it could resolve many issues that could otherwise drag out the divorce. However, exactly when you and your spouse signed the agreement might cause a judge to think twice about enforcing your pact.
According to FindLaw, there are a number of reasons why a court might invalidate a prenuptial agreement. Sometimes it comes down to exactly when a spouse signed a prenup before going through with the wedding ceremony.
Enough time to consider the agreement
Whether both spouses understood the agreement they signed is something any judge will take into account. A spouse cannot hand the other spouse a prenuptial document and tell the spouse to sign it on the spot. The other spouse must read it and comprehend its provisions before adding a signature.
This is why signing a prenup on the wedding day could be a major problem. It is one thing if both spouses spent days prior to the wedding looking over and discussing the agreement. It could be another if one spouse only received the document shortly before exchanging vows. A judge may believe that the receiving spouse was under pressure from the impending wedding to sign the agreement.
The absence of legal counsel
Rushing a spouse to sign a prenup could also mean the spouse has not had time to ask an attorney for assistance. A prenuptial agreement may contain legal language that a spouse does not understand. California courts will not validate an agreement if it becomes clear that a signatory to it did not understand his or her rights.
The date when you and your spouse signed the agreement is not the only factor in validating your prenup. Courts can also throw out prenuptial agreements if they deprive a spouse of too many rights or impose burdensome or illegal requirements on a spouse. Both parties to this kind of agreement should know what they are getting into before they sign.