3 QUESTIONS THAT HELP DETERMINE IF A PRENUP IS VALID
While many prenups will stand in court, do not assume that yours has to just because you both signed it. The judge has a lot of power in a case like this, and there are reasons he or she can declare the agreement to be invalid.
To determine if this is the case, the judge may start by asking three very important questions:
1. Did you sign the prenup while under duress?
You must sign the prenup of your own free will. Duress is when outside forces influence you to sign despite your own desires. If you’re in a financially abusive relationship, for instance, your significant other could threaten to cut you off from the family finances if you don’t sign. The judge isn’t going to hold you to that.
2. When did you sign the prenup?
The key is how close the wedding was when you signed. Don’t try to draft that document the week before the big day. That does not give you enough time to really consider what it means. This could also be viewed as duress since no one wants to cancel a wedding that close to the date.
3. What was your mental state like at the time?
What they want to know here is if you had the mental capacity to understand the document and what it meant. If you were so drunk that you can hardly even remember the night, for instance, the judge may determine that you did not have the mental capacity to sign and your significant other basically took advantage of that condition.
If you are thinking of using a prenup, keep these three questions in mind. They show why it is so important to plan in advance and understand exactly what legal steps you need to take to draft a document that holds up when you need it.