A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a binding document a couple makes prior to getting married. Typically, this document lists the property each party owns and their debts and specifies what each party is entitled to should the marriage end in a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement must be valid to hold; otherwise, the court may throw it out should a dispute arise. Here are common reasons why the court may invalidate your prenuptial agreement.
1. Fraud/ falsified content
A prenuptial agreement is only valid and enforceable if its content is true and accurate. If either party lies about or conceals assets, debts, or deliberately makes misrepresentations in the prenup document, then the entire agreement could be deemed void. A prenup agreement can also be invalidated if the court establishes that either party forged the other’s signature.
2. Duress and coercion
Both parties must voluntarily enter into a prenuptial agreement without any threats, pressure or manipulation. Duress and coercion refer to one party’s use of force or threats to get the other to sign the prenup document. It also includes denying your spouse the opportunity to read and understand the terms of the contract or putting pressure on them to sign the document as a pre-condition for marriage. The court will likely invalidate the prenup if it is established that one party used coercive tactics to get the other to sign the document.
A prenup agreement is meant to protect your assets and interest should the marriage end in divorce. It is not meant to take your spouse’s assets, or leave them struggling to provide for themselves after the divorce. A prenuptial document that is severely one-sided, unjust or unfair to one party can be deemed unconscionable. The court may also find a prenup unconscionable if it contains clauses that require a spouse to do certain things during the marriage in return for their share of marital property in an event of a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement is a fantastic way to protect your assets and interests while in marriage. However, like any other legal contract, this document may not mean anything if it has been created improperly.