Can Spousal Support be Waived in California?

Posted in California,Divorce,Divorce Mediation,Spousal Support on January 16, 2024

Determining California spousal support can be one of the most contentious topics in a divorce. In some instances, the determination of support is addressed before the marriage becomes legal in a prenuptial agreement. Weighing spousal support options with an experienced Solana Beach family law attorney with in-depth knowledge of prenuptial agreements and whether waiving this right benefits a spouse should be carefully reviewed.

Waiving the Right to California Spousal Support

California has a specific law (Cal Fam Code §1612) allowing individuals entering into a marriage the right to waive spousal support in a prenuptial agreement. Pursuing this alternative requires the individual to waive their right to spousal support to have an attorney review and establish the individual’s best interests in a California prenuptial agreement. Also expressed in this law is that the terms of the agreement cannot be unconscionable, or the agreement is not enforceable.

Optional Approaches to a Complete Waiver of Spousal Support

A blanket waiver does not have to be thrown over spousal support. There are alternatives to consider and include in a California prenuptial agreement. The first can include establishing spousal support if the marriage is viable for a designated time. If the marriage ends prematurely, then spousal support is waived.

Another option instead of a complete waiver of spousal support in California is adding a provision for support when a life event renders it necessary. This event could be the development of a disability, when a spouse turns a certain age, or when specific situations prevent a spouse from entering the workforce. Determining spousal support in a prenuptial agreement requires a comprehensive look into the future to make present determinations.

Some partners may opt to designate a specific monetary amount for support regardless of the paying spouse’s income. This option may be preferred for business owners or to ensure a certain standard of living is maintainable after a divorce occurs. It can be challenging to look past the new feelings of commitment to consider a time when spousal support may be a necessity, which is one significant reason the assistance of a prenuptial agreement attorney in Solana Beach is mandated by law when waiving spousal support.

Why Waiving Support May or May Not Be Right for You

Reflecting on these questions and situations is critical when constructing a beneficial premarital agreement. First, will marriage in any way limit the career opportunities available to an individual? Partners who forgo pursuing a career to focus on domestic responsibilities can suffer the loss of potential advancement and earnings when choosing to leave the workforce for an extended time.

Also, reflecting on a partner’s current earnings and whether this income could support financial independence if the marriage ends is critical. Finally, as an equal partner in a marriage and earning, the choice to receive monetary support can be counterintuitive to the beliefs someone holds about spousal support. The most vital consideration about marriage is that every relationship constantly changes and evolves, making a valid prenuptial agreement essential.

Solana Beach Spousal Support and Prenuptial Agreements Attorney

The legal decisions entered into in a California prenuptial agreement can determine life trajectory post-divorce. Weighing every option available is imperative to ensure the best outcome in the dissolution of marriage. Schedule a free consultation with Ratzer|Dobis, a practice limited to family law, to explore options for waiving California spousal support and establishing a viable prenuptial agreement addressing spousal support approved by California courts.