How can a prenuptial agreement be invalidated?
Postnuptial agreements and prenuptial agreements have the ultimate power to protect California spouses in the event of a divorce. Drafting a prenup may protect an individual from the financial implications of a divorce, and ensure that that spouse would not be liable for any debt incurred by the other party. However, the protection that prenups can provide would be ineffective if the document is considered invalid.
Generally, a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between soon-to-be spouses that is signed before they are married. A prenup formalizes their understanding and wishes on which of their assets will be protected and will be considered as separate property, as well as which assets will become marital property. The prenup can also include financial provisions in the event of a divorce.
In many cases, prenups are designed to provide protection to a much wealthier spouse or the spouse with greater separate assets. However, a prenuptial agreement can be nullified by the court. There are five major reasons that can invalidate the legal agreement. One reason is if either spouse fails to make a full disclosure about all of their assets and liabilities. The second and third reasons that can invalidate a prenup occur if the document unduly favors one party and if it was executed without the guidance of an attorney. A prenuptial agreement must always be in writing as well.
Lastly, a prenuptial agreement should be signed without coercion or duress. Coercion or duress means that a spouse was not threatened to sign the prenuptial agreement. In addition, people must be given an adequate amount of time to review the document before signing.
Source: Forbes, “How Key Portions of Prenups and Postnups Can be Invalidated,” Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2014