Previously, this blog discussed prenuptial agreements and how they can prove beneficial to those who are seeking to protect their interests in the event of divorce. These documents can ensure that property division and spousal support matters are addressed in accordance with the parties’ desires at the time of marriage. Yet, as many of us know, people and their wishes can change over the course of time. Therefore, when a couple decides to get divorce, one or both parties may suddenly find the terms of the agreement unfair. In these cases, it may be wise for an individual to consider whether he or she can find a way to invalidate the agreement.
There are a number of ways that a prenuptial agreement can be rendered invalid. First of all, if the agreement was never reduced to writing, then it likely will not be upheld in court. Second, one may be able to invalidate a prenuptial agreement if he or she can show that he or she was pressured into accepting the agreement despite him or her not wanting to accept it. Similarly, those who did not have adequate time to consider the agreement prior to signing it, as well as those who did not read the agreement before entering into it, may have a valid reason to seek invalidation.
Those aren’t the only reasons, though. Certain provisions that are found to be illegal may be found invalid by the court. For example, a court will not enforce a prenuptial agreement term that seeks to limit child support. Also, a court may invalidate a prenuptial agreement if it finds that the agreement was entered into based on false or incomplete information given by one of the parties. Lastly, if the agreement is so one-sided so as to be completely unfair, then a court may deem it unconscionable and therefore invalid.
Prenuptial agreements need to be handled carefully. Although they can be extremely powerful at the beginning of a marriage, they can also prove extremely harmful in some cases. Those who find themselves staring down an unfair yet agreed to prenuptial agreement should consult with a family law attorney. This can help determine if a spouse has legal recourse to escape the terms they have been bound.