Issues That Can Render A Prenuptial Agreement Invalid

Prenuptial agreements are not always the most pleasant topics to discuss as you plan your wedding. However, this discussion is crucial particularly when you have assets of your own prior to marriage. The point of a prenuptial agreement safeguards your assets and can impact alimony in the event of a divorce.

One thing to keep in mind is a prenuptial agreement must be valid if it is to be enforced by the court. There are several issues you can run into that can render a prenuptial agreement invalid and therefore unenforceable. The following are some issues that can invalidate your prenuptial agreement:

The Timing Must Be Right

Prenuptial agreements must be signed at a specific timeframe prior to your marriage. If you get married, you can no longer create a prenuptial agreement because the contract, or the marriage, has already occurred. The prenuptial agreement is based on an exchange of a contract, or the marriage. You cannot consider an agreement after the contract has been enacted.

You should also not attempt to enact a prenuptial agreement even a few days before you wedding. This can appear that you coerced your future spouse to signing the agreement. A judge may determine the agreement invalid if he or she has reason to believe your future spouse signed the agreement under duress.

For that reason, work with your attorney well in advance of your wedding date if you plan to have a prenuptial agreement.

You Must Fully Disclose Your Assets

When you create a prenuptial agreement, you have to fully disclose your assets. You must be completely truthful and provide a comprehensive accounting of your assets for the agreement to be valid. If your spouse does not know about your assets in full, he or she could challenge the validity of the agreement should you later divorce. Your future spouse has the right to know exactly what is included in your financial portfolio to make a decision when it comes to signing the agreement.

The Agreement Must be In Writing

Any prenuptial agreement must be in black and white. You cannot agree to a prenuptial agreement orally. The agreement must outline the specific terms that are fully amenable to all parties involved. A prenuptial agreement also should be notarized.

Any Provisions Must be Legal

It goes without saying that any provisions listed in your prenuptial agreement must abide by the law. The provisions should also be ethical and adhere to any policies outlined by law.

Prenuptial agreements can become confusing, especially your first time. If you have any further questions about their legalities, contact a prenup attorney near you. 

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