A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that clarifies the division of assets in the case of a divorce. According to Harvard University, only 5 to 10 percent of married couples get a prenuptial agreement. While usually iron-clad, there are situations where a prenuptial agreement may become invalid. If one party contests the prenuptial agreement, it could mean that all marital assets get divided evenly. Learn more about the validity of prenuptial agreements.
Signing Under Intimidation, Coercion, or Duress
If one party was forced to sign a prenuptial agreement, that can void the document. However, the coerced party will need to prove that the document was signed under extenuating circumstances. A legal document, such as a prenuptial agreement, will also become void if someone signed it while heavily intoxicated when they could not reasonably consent.
Failure to Disclose
A prenuptial agreement covers a couple's finances in detail. Both parties sign the agreement based on the financial information provided in the contract. If one party misrepresented or purposefully failed to disclose certain financial information, the prenup can become invalid as a result of "failure to disclose." It doesn't matter if the failure to disclose is purposeful or not.
Prenups must be reasonable to both parties involved. If a judge finds that an agreement grossly neglects a particular person, they can void the contract on grounds of unconscionability. A prenup also can't leave one party destitute after the marriage.
There are certain steps that must take place in order to make a prenup legal. If a prenup does not follow each step, a divorce lawyer may have a case to void it. Things like missing signatures or skipped steps throughout the process count as improper filing. As part of the process, both parties must have independent representation that goes over the details of the agreement to ensure that everyone understands it. If one party didn't get the proper representation, an important part of the filing process was skipped.
Infidelity in and of itself will not void a prenuptial agreement. However, prenups that include an infidelity clause will be impacted by infidelity. In most cases, the guilty party will pay a hefty fee for breaking the clause. Without the infidelity clause, infidelity does not impact prenups at all, even in at-fault states.
Give your lawyer a copy of your prenup so that they can look over it to determine whether it's valid or if there's a problem with the contract. Contact a local divorce lawyer to learn more.