In March 2013, a private judge retained by the parties in this dissolution action found the premarital agreement they signed in 1996 (PMA) to be enforceable, including the provision waiving spousal support to either party.
The trial court denied Appellant Natalia Zarubin’s request to set aside the private judge’s decision (the set aside order). It then entered a judgment on reserved issues (the judgment) incorporating the PMA, including its waiver of spousal support. On appeal, Natalia asked the California Court of Appeal to reverse the set aside order and the portion of the judgment denying spousal support. In the unpublished portion of our decision, the California Court of Appeal concluded the trial court committed no error in upholding the validity of the PMA and issuing the set aside order. In the published portion of the decision, the California Court of Appeal determine the trial court properly entered judgment incorporating the PMA and its waiver of spousal support. The California Court of Appeal affirm the judgment.
The trial judge correctly ruled Family Code section 1612, subdivision (c), effective January 1, 2002, does not apply to agreements entered prior to that effective date. (In re Marriage of Howell (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1062, 1077-78; and on unconscionability of a premarital agreement.)
Lack of representation is one factor the trial court can consider in evaluating the unconscionability of a pre-2002 premarital agreement, even though section 1612, subdivision (c) does not apply. (In re Marriage of Bonds (2000) 24 Cal.4th 1, 24.
The California Court of Appeal correctly determined the trial judge properly denied the set aside motion. Disagreement with the trial court is not a basis to set aside an order under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b); nor is judicial error. (See Don v. Cruz (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 695, 702 [“section 473 has no application to judicial mistakes but only to mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect of the moving party”].)
If you are contemplating getting married, or, divorced, do it right! When faced with such circumstances in a family law matter, you need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney by your side protecting all of your interests. Contact the Law Office of Robert Rodriguez!
Robert Rodriguez has litigated well over 100 family law cases and civil litigation matters including personal injury motor vehicle cases, dog bite and slip & fall cases, breach of contract, defamation & invasion of privacy, fraud, unfair business practice, malicious prosecution, wrongful termination, workplace and employment matters including sexual harassment, wage & hour violations, discrimination pursuant to the FEHA, Gov’t Code §§ 12940 et seq., violations of the FMLA & Pregnancy Leave, Civil Rights discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the State of California and California federal district courts.
* Disclaimer – Robert Rodriguez is licensed to practice only in the State of California & this analysis is applied only under State of California law. Robert D. Rodriguez is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts, Central, Northern & Eastern Districts of California. Robert Rodriguez has practiced in the State of California Court of Appeal.
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