What Is the Seven Day Rule for California Prenuptial Agreements


               A California law that has been in effect for several years, commonly known as the “Seven Day Rule,” mandates at least seven full calendar days between when a party receives the final prenup draft and when it is signed. The purpose of the law is to allow both parties to carefully read and understand the contract and to consult with legal counsel. For the text of the law, click here: https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2022/code-fam/division-4/part-5/chapter-2/article-2/section-1615/

Does this Law Change the Requirements of a Valid Prenuptial Agreement?

  • Yes, this law added a fifth general element to the previous four.
  • The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
  • The parties signed the agreement voluntarily.
  • Each party disclosed enough facts so that the other party has made a fair and informed decision.
  • Each party is represented by an attorney or they waived their right to legal counsel clearly in writing that was signed,
  • And each party has reviewed the final version seven days prior to signing.

What is the reasons for the seven day rule and when does it apply?

  • The underlying purpose of the rule is to give enough time for the parties to review and consider the prenuptial agreement and to seek legal advice if desired.
  • It applies to prenups executed after January 1, 2020.

What is the history of prenups in California?

  • In 2000, the Supreme Court of California decided a prenuptial case involving the baseball player, Barry Bonds, and his wife, Susann “Sun.”
  • The day before they were married, each signed a prenuptial agreement that was prepared by Bonds’ lawyers and Sun was not represented by an attorney.
  • Six years and two children later, Bonds petitioned for legal separation and Sun contested the validity of the prenup.
  • The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bonds, but it was a high publicity case with public sentiment on the side of Sun, so legislation was subsequently passed, which is now codified in Fam. Code §1615.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney for Your Prenuptial Agreement Needs

At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience in all aspects of family law and can help you understand and negotiate a prenuptial agreement. We all have many years of experience in divorce, custody issues, and all family law matters. Contact us today at 707-451-4502.

Family Law Legislative Updates

Family law is ever changing as new laws are proposed or passed that impact how these challenging cases are decided. This article will provide an update on legislative changes that impact family law.

Piqui’s Law, educating judges to reduce risk of children from dangerous parents.

  • Piqui was the nickname of a child who was murdered by his father in 2017 soon after his father had won partial custody rights.
  • The Law requiresjudges to go through training to better assess family custody cases where the child could be at risk if allowed to be with a dangerous parent.
  • The law also prohibits family court judges from ordering what’s called “family reunification treatments” such as camps, particularly when it involves reconnecting a child with a parent suspected of being abusive.
  • For more information, see: https://abc7.com/piquis-law-gavin-newsom-bill-signed-aramazd-piqui-andressian-jr/13911339/

 AB 665, equalizing mental health care for youth.

  • The purpose of this law was to make mental health care equally available to low income youth.
  • The existing California law allowed youth ages 12 and older to consent to outpatient mental health counseling, but previously teens using Medi-Cal had to meet a higher acuity than peers who had private insurance coverage.
  • This law corrects that problem to eliminate the inequity between those covered by Medi-Cal and those with private insurance.
  • For more information, see: https://healthlaw.org/news/governor-signs-ab-665-into-law-increasing-mental-health-care-access-for-low-income-youth/

 AB 1148, the Stable Parents Stable Children Act extending grace period from incarceration to child support payments due.

SB 343, Child Support Federal Rule Compliance.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you need an experienced family law attorney, we are here TO HELP YOU. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience in family law and can help you understand and litigate your California divorce. We are ready to listen and help you achieve your goals. Contact us today at 707-451-4502.

The Importance of Full Disclosure in California Divorce Cases

A June 2023 unpublished opinion from Los Angeles County reaffirms the importance of full disclosure in divorce cases. This article will summarize the case and highlight the takeaways for divorce law in California.

What were the basic facts of Frausto v. Frausto?

  • Although this was an unpublished case, it provides an interesting case study on the issue of undisclosed assets in a divorce. 
  • Over 20 years after the court entered a final judgment, the ex-wife filed a petition to adjudicate the ex-husband’s pension, which had not been disclosed. 
  • As per the California Family Code, there is no time limit on the court’s jurisdiction to adjudicate assets that were not disclosed.
  • The court affirmed the order granting the ex-wife an interest in the pension. 

What are the takeaways from this case for a California divorce? 

  • Failure to fully disclose assets in a California divorce will not prevent an ex-spouse from later winning a claim against the undisclosed assets. 
  • The court will not impose a time limit on a former spouse’s claim to undisclosed assets. 
  • The family court has continuing jurisdiction of undisclosed assets, and that continuing jurisdiction can last a long time (20 years in the Frausto case!).  

What are my options if I think that my spouse his assets, but my divorce is final?

  • This case shows that one option if you think an ex-spouse has hidden assets is to petition the court for a share of the asset.
  • An important consideration is to bring your claim as soon as possible. As this case shows, a delay in pursing a claim against an undisclosed assets is not fatal to your claim (the court held that it was not compelled to consider the defense of laches in the Frausto case). However, you can anticipate that your ex-spouse may raise equity as a defense if there is an unreasonable delay in pursing your claim against the undisclosed asset.  

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Whether you are just beginning your divorce, in the middle, or have post-judgment issues to resolve, at the Law Office of David Knecht, we are here to help you! We have extensive experience with family law which includes all matters concerning divorce in California.  Contact us at 707-451-4502. 

How Should I Tell My School Aged Children About Divorce?

One of the most important and challenging conversations a parent can have with their children is telling them about a divorce. It’s a discussion that will likely always be remembered, so handling this topic is of utmost importance. This article summarizes content from divorcemag.com and provides a checklist for parents to guide them in breaking the news to their children in a positive way. The full article can be found here


  • Begin by affirming your love for the children and assuring them that you will always be their parent. Tell them that you will always be there for them, but there will be some changes in the family. 

Acknowledge Problems but Don’t Detail Them.

  • Acknowledge that there were problems in the marriage and that you tried to fix them, but do not go into detail about what you think your spouse did wrong. Those are adult issues and too complex and heavy or children, and also you do not want to place your children in a situation where they feel they have to take sides. Be clear with the children that they were in no way at fault and consider apologizing to them for impacting their lives with this new change. 

Consider Your Words. 

  • Consider your children and carefully choose your words. For example, the word “divorce” can be extremely triggering to some children, so you may want to start by calling it a separation. For other children, they may want or need a more direct explanation from you. Make a decision ahead of the conversation about the words you will use. 

Convey Security and Confidence. 

  • Your children need to know that both you and then will be ok. Avoid expressing insecurity about what will happen or how you will get by financially. Try to express confidence and security to your children so that they will feel safe to weather the changes. If one parent is moving out, it is helpful if they already have those arrangements in place so that they can tell the children where they will be and confirm to them that they will still be available and accessible. 

Have the Conversation Together with Your CoParent. 

  • Although emotions may be running high with your coparent, it is often beneficial to work jointly to deliver the message to the children. This can provide confidence to the children that both parents love them and will work together. Emphasize that you will both try to do your best to make the changes as easy on the children as possible. 

Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer

Even if you are just contemplating a divorce, but not certain that you want to go forward, contacting an experienced divorce attorney can be helpful. You can make a plan and know your options. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience helping clients with a California divorce, and we are happy to answer your family law questions. Contact us at 707-451-4502. 

Considering Divorce? 3 Things You Need to Know

An article published on Parents.com was authored by a woman who was both a mother and a divorce lawyer and discussed what she wished all clients knew prior to a divorce. This article summarizes the article with a list of 5 things you need to know if you are considering divorce. The article can be found in its entirety hereUnderstand Your Finances. 

  • Money is clearly and important issue in divorce, yet it is surprising how many people are in the dark about their spouse’s finances. 
  • Find out about your spouse’s income. Are they an employee or independent contractor? Are they contributing to retirement accounts? Do they have other investment properties, stock holdings, or other investments?
  • Figure out your debts. Do you have the credit card bills? Do you know the monthly mortgage amount? Who pays for the car insurance and how much is it? 
  • Although understanding the financial system seems very basic and obvious, many people do not have the documents or online access at their fingertips, and getting this access prior to the divorce will be very beneficial down the road. 

Figure Out Your Monthly Expenses

  • Do you know where your money goes every month? This is often important to know down the road for spousal support. 
  • Try to identify where the money is spent on housing, utilities, health insurance, food, phone services, tv and internet, education, charitable donations, etc. 
  • Organizing your proof of these expenses by having the credit card and bank information at your fingertips will save you time later. 
  • You may have student loans or credit card debts or may plan to incur those during the marriage. 
  • You may inherit money during the marriage. 
  • You may want a safety net against your future spouse’s unhealthy behaviors (money toward addictions, uncontrolled spending, etc. )
  • Be aware of red flags, such as sudden changes in spending habits by one spouse. It is not unusual for a spouse who is considering divorce to try to reduce spending in the months prior or to cancel bills before they come under the court’s scrutiny.  

Many divorces are resolved by settlement, so begin considering your divorce goals.  

  • Most divorces are resolved through a mutually agreed settlement by the parties, so if you are thinking about divorce, it is helpful to analyze your feelings about various settlement possibilities before the divorce even commences. 
  • If you have children, consider their ages, preferences and education. Look realistically at what physical custody you think will be in their best interest. 
  • Decide about assets, such as whether you want to keep possession of the home, whether there are keepsakes that you want to be yours in the divorce, etc. 
  • Try to think long term. A common mistake when parties begin a divorce is short term thinking because it is hard to imagine what life will be like down the road ten years, but the decisions you make with your divorce strategy will have far-reaching consequences. 

Contact an Experienced Family Lawyer

Even if you are just contemplating a divorce, but not certain that you want to go forward, contacting an experienced divorce attorney can be helpful. You can make a plan and know your options. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience helping clients with a California divorce, and we are happy to answer your family law questions. Contact us at 707-451-4502. 

What are the Main Steps of a California Divorce?

This article will provide an overview of the divorce process with a summary of the information provided by the California Courts.

Getting a divorce in California takes at least six months. There are four main steps to getting divorced and they are the same whether you are married or in a domestic partnership. If you want a legal separation, the steps are the same, but there isn’t a required six month waiting period.

Start the divorce case.

  • One spouse files the papers and lets the other person know that the case has been started by serving the papers on that person.
  • Then the other spouse has a chance to file a response.

Share financial information.

  • The party that filed the papers must share financial information and the other party must also, if they are participating in the divorce process.
  • The documents are shared with the other party and then you file a form so that the judge knows you met this requirement.

Make decisions.  

  • You will need to decide how to divide property and debts, whether spousal support will be paid, and how to care for and support children (if appliable).
  • You can work together with your spouse to come to an agreement on these issues or you can ask the court to decide.

 Finalize the divorce. 

  • This last step involves filing a set of final paperwork. The court will review the forms to make sure that nothing is missing and there are not mistakes and the judge will sign the final form.
  • Visit this site for more information about finalizing a California divorce.


If you need help with a divorce, contact the Law Office of David Knecht. Call us at 707-451-4502. We have extensive experience in family law and can help you feel confident and comfortable navigating a California divorce.

Feeling Powerless in a California Divorce? How to Take the Power Back

If you are feeling powerless in your divorce, you are not alone. It is common to feel depression, anxiety and stress during a divorce. Some studies even show that a divorce can lower your lifespan, so if you feel sad or helpless, you are not alone.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23284588/ 

On the bright side, though, there is also research to indicate that quality of life post-divorce can be much better than it was during the marriage. https://www.connectedwomen.co/magazine/the-brighter-side-of-single-mom-life-why-more-women-are-living-happily-ever-after-divorce/

This article will highlight three ways to break the cycle  of feeling powerless and help you take the power back during your divorce. 

  •  Become informed. 

It’s axiomatic that knowledge is power, and this is certainly true when it comes to divorce. For many, the intimidation of the process can be daunting, but there are many online resources that can help. 

One we recommend that is unbiased and thorough is the website published by California Courts.  It can be accessed here. https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-divorce.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en

This resource has self-help tools, information, forms and general guidance on divorce and California, and it’s a good place to start to get educated on what may lie ahead. 

  • Get organized. 

You can anticipate that assets and liabilities are going to be important in your divorce, so it’s important to get the information organized and easily accessible. Some things to consider might be:

  • What are the balances on your credit cards?
  • How much do you owe on your vehicle?
  • What is your mortgage payment?
  • How much student loan or other debt do you carry?
  • How much do you earn?

Getting information together will help you feel more in control and will make the process go more smoothly down the road. 

  •  Obtain Legal Advice. 

An attorney who is experienced in family law and empathetic to your concerns can help you feel more in control of your divorce. At the Law Office of David Knecht we have extensive experience with divorce in California. We will listen to your concerns and seek to understand how to customize the divorce to your needs. Contact us at 707-451-4502 for more information.  

Bifurcating a Divorce in California

Bifurcation means that both parties can be legally declared as a single person while their other issues are being worked out.  For example, Kelly Clarkson recently filed a motion for bifurcation.  According to an article published in Vanity Fair, her filing stated:  “Irreconcilable differences have existed and continue to exist…I have been attempting to reach a global settlement on this matter…since I filed in divorce in June 2020…and I deserve the opportunity to build a new life.  Therefore, I am asking that my request to bifurcate and terminate marital status be granted.”   (See https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/07/kelly-clarkson-request-legally-single-brandon-blackstock-divorce-no-intention-settling)

This article will explain what bifurcation is, how it works, and why it might be something you want to discuss with your attorney:

  1. Can bifurcation shorten the California six month waiting period for divorce?

No, bifurcation is not a way to avoid the waiting period requirement.  However, a motion can be filed immediately after the waiting period has elapsed. 


  • How does bifurcation effect child custody, visitation, and financial issues?


Bifurcation does not affect things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other issues that may be difficult to resolve in the divorce.  The bifurcation will deal only with the issue of marital status and the other issues must be addressed later. 


  • Why does bifurcation make sense for some couples? 


A very common reason for bifurcation is that one person wants to marry again, so they need their legal status to be single.  There may be other reasons for bifurcation.  For some, there is an emotional release to changing the legal status.  For others, a bifurcation may facilitate advantages for tax purposes, so that the parties may file as single.

2. What issues might want to be considered relating to bifurcation?

Medical insurance is an issue that needs to be considered in bifurcation.  Will the spouse that maintains the insurance continue to cover the other spouse, and if not, then the spouse who requests the bifurcation may need to pay for insurance that is comparable or cover the medical bills.  Pension plans and death benefits need to be considered as well as tax consequences.

3. Where can I find an attorney who can help me decide whether bifurcation is right for me?

An experienced attorney can help make the divorce process easier for you and help you make important decisions on issues such as bifurcation. At the Law Office of David Knecht, at 707-451-4502, we have extensive experience in divorce in California and can help you decide whether bifurcation is the right decision for you. 


Tips for Having a Healthy Divorce

Nobody plans on getting a divorce, and divorce can be traumatic for the couple involved, their children and even extended family and friends.  This article will summarize tips from an article published by the American Psychological Association for how to have a healthy divorce.  https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce-child-custody/healthy

Cooperation, Communication and Mediation (Often, but Not Always)

For many divorces, a good starting point is cooperation, communication and a hope of resolution through mediation.  This is not the pattern for all divorces, as each situation is unique.  For some divorces, a more aggressive and hostile approach may be the right strategy.  There is no “one size fits all” divorce, and it is important to coordinate with your attorney on the strategy that works for you.  However, often at least an initial effort toward finding solutions that are palatable for everyone involved can be the method for a divorce that is effective and affordable.  


  • Write Things Down. 


Emotions will often run very high during a divorce with various triggers that elicit anger, frustration, defeat, fear and a myriad of other negative emotions.  One strategy may be to put your thoughts and emotions onto paper.  For some people, making lists or writing down goals can help overcome the powerlessness that results from negative emotions by channeling the energy into productive planning and/or processing.  


  • Give Yourself Compassion.


Although it seems somewhat obvious to give yourself a break, the practice of self-compassion can actually reap amazing benefits during a divorce.  In a 2012 study, the participants going through a divorce were asked to rate their self-compassion, which included self-kindness, an awareness of one’s place in humanity and emotional equanimity.  Participants who exercised self-compassion reaped the benefit of less emotional turbulence during the divorce process and even nine months down the road from the divorce event.  The conclusion of the study was that self-compassion is a modifiable variable that can improve the lives of divorcing adults.  So, be kind to yourself, understand that you are an important part of the network of humanity and realize your potential for emotional calm.  https://neuro.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22282874

Resolve to Make the Divorce Experience as Positive as Possible for Children

While some people still hold to the idea that divorce will have a lasting negative impact, more recent research indicates that “outcomes for children and adolescents following divorce were complexly determined, varied considerably, and could be best understood within a framework of familial and external factors increasing risk and fostering resilience. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2012-00701-003

This research indicates that your children are not automatically going to be negatively impacted by your divorce and you may be able to minimize or eliminate long-term challenges resulting from the divorce.  Some methods that are associated with positive outcomes include good communication with the children, avoiding pitting the children against one parent, avoiding sudden changes to allow children to process and deal with change, and providing counseling and other mental health support to children during the difficult times. 

Find the Right Attorney

An experienced attorney can help make the divorce process easier for you and help you make important decisions. At the Law Office of David Knecht, at 707-451-4502, we have extensive experience in divorce in California.  Call us today. 

Basic Information About Divorce in California

If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering about residency requirements, grounds for divorce, and what the main steps are in the divorce process.  This article will provide an overview of the basics divorce process to help you think about how you are going to handle your divorce case.  There are three main ways to end a marriage or registered domestic partnership in California: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. After you decide how you want to end your marriage or domestic partnership, you need to plan your case ahead of time. Planning before you start and talking to a lawyer can save you time and money as you go through the court process.  At the Law Office of David Knecht, at 707-451-4502, we can help you plan your divorce from the beginning, or we can assist in a divorce that has already been initiated.  We are experienced divorce lawyers here to help you succeed.  

  1.  What are the residency requirements for divorce in California? 
  • You or your spouse must have been a resident in the state of California for at least six months and a resident in the county where the divorce is going to be filed for at least three months prior to filing for divorce, unless the case involves same-sex marriages.
  • With same-sex marriage, a judgment for divorce, nullity, or legal separation is possible even if neither person is a resident of California at the time the proceedings if 1)  the marriage was entered in California and 2) neither spouse lives in a state that will dissolve the marriage (in a state that doesn’t recognize the marriage).  
  • See California Family Code 2320 at this link:


  •  What are the grounds for divorce or legal separation in California?


  • Most common:  Irreconcilable differences
    • It is not necessary for both spouses or domestic partners to agree to end the marriage. Either spouse or partner can decide to end the marriage.  The other person can’t stop a divorce.  California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that the person who wants the divorce does not have to prove that the other person did anything wrong.  They just have to state that there were “irreconcilable differences,” which means that they do not get along. 
  • Also grounds for divorce:  Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. 
  • See California Family Code 2310 at this link.


  •  What are the basic steps in a California divorce?
  • You meet the residency requirements.
  • You state the grounds for divorce.  
  • Divorce paperwork needs to be filed and served to your spouse. 
  • Your spouse will have an opportunity to tell their side of the story, if they contest the information in your paperwork.  This can happen through written paperwork and proceedings either live proceedings or virtual. 
  • If your spouse does not respond within a certain time frame, the divorce can proceed as uncontested. 
  • Issues involving property, children and financial support will be resolved either through settlement or court hearings. 

Consult with the Law Office of David Knecht

At the Law Office of David Knecht, at 707-451-4502, we have extensive experience in divorce in California.  We can explain the divorce process to you and advocate for the property division, financial support and custody arrangements that would work best for you.