The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) is a uniform act, a federal law that establishes minimum standards and provides a basis for states to determine how and when a premarital/ prenuptial agreement should be enforced. The act was proposed in response to the large number of people who were getting married and planning to continue to pursue careers outside of the home. This act was created by a group looking for ways to resolve-by-agreement any issues that may arise as a result of the approaching marriage.
California adopted the UPAA in 1986. California’s UPAA can be found in California Family Code sections 1600 to 1617. The California UPAA differs from other states with regard to what can be contracted about in a valid premarital agreement and when a premarital agreement is enforceable
California’s UPAA removes section 3(a)(4) of the UPAA, which allows parties to a premarital agreement to modify or eliminate spousal support. In California, any provision regarding spousal support is ineffective if independent legal counsel did not represent the party against whom the enforcement is desired from when the agreement was signed. This section also states that an otherwise unsanctioned provision in a premarital agreement regarding spousal support may not become legitimate only be- cause the party against whom enforcement is sought was represented by independent counsel.
Therefore, California raises the standard for parties hoping to modify or eliminate spousal support by agreement. Regardless of what is decided upon by parties, it is good to recognize that it is possible to validly waive spousal support by premarital agreement in California.
If you have specific questions about premarital agreements or need help with your divorce, contact Brett Thorsteinson, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney.