Waived Spousal Support in Prenuptial Agreement of 1999, Cannot be Invalidated Based on the 2002 Law
San Diego, California, May 24, 2011: Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division One held that a spousal support waiver in the parties’ 1999 premarital agreement cannot be invalidated based on the Fam. Code, § 1612, subd. (c), enacted in 2002. The court of appeal held that § 1612, subd. (c), requiring legal representation by the spouse who waives the spousal support was a material change in the law as to enforceability of a spousal support waiver and the Legislature did not intend it to apply retroactively.
In addition, there was substantial evidence that the wife entered into the agreement voluntarily, was advised but refrained from obtaining legal counsel, understood the agreement, and there was no evidence of duress, fraud, or undue influence. Wife argued that she signed the agreement without the benefit of having an attorney, under duress of having the preparation for the parties’ wedding was contracted and completed, and that canceling the wedding would have created great embarrassment.
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