Reasons a prenup could be invalid

On behalf of The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC posted in Prenuptial Agreements on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

A prenuptial agreement, when done correctly, is a safeguard for the financial interests of both parties in case of a break-up in the future. But even the best of intentions can turn sour if not treated carefully and professionally. So how can you know your prenup is valid?

There are many reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be found to be invalid. Here’s a list of some of the most important things you need to consider before making a premarital or prenuptial agreement.

  1. The prenup includes false information. For example, both parties are required to provide full disclosure concerning their assets, liabilities and income. But what if your future spouse lied and submitted false information? That will make the agreement invalid.
  2. You failed to read the agreement thoroughly. Let’s say that you’re a busy person, and it happens that your prospective spouse says that they want to save your time. They casually lay the prenup papers down in front of you recommending that you sign them quickly. If you failed to read it, and simply added your signature to the papers, the prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable.
  3. You and your prospective spouse did not receive independent counsel before the papers are signed. You each have separate interests, and ought to have your own attorneys to represent you. In some states this makes your agreement invalid.
  4. Let’s say that one or both of you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you signed the agreement, or that you were pressured into signing the agreement while in an altered state. This is called signing under duress, and it will most likely be invalidated if there is a challenge to it in court.
  5. The prenuptial agreements were signed at the last minute, possibly a few days before you walked down that aisle. To ensure that the agreement is valid, it should be signed, at the very latest, one to three months before the wedding.
  6. Other reasons why your agreement might not be enforceable include ambiguous writing in the document, an oral agreement instead of a written one, and also whether it included unenforceable provisions.

To cover all your bases and ensure that your prenuptial agreement is solid, it’s best to consult with a professional attorney, one that has your (not your future spouse’s) best interests in mind. If you didn’t consult with one before the wedding, it’s possible that the prenup you signed can be challenged. All the more reason why a top notch divorce attorney is necessary.