Prenuptial agreements are a common legal step taken by couples before they are pronounced as husband and wife. Several cases of unfair treatment have been coming up as a result of overlooking prenuptial agreement before marriage. No doubt, most individuals have various financial passions. A prenup can help in securing that passion of financial aspirations to keep growing even after divorce, should in case it occur.
Back in time, having a prenuptial agreement was considered as kind of insulting or stodgy but these days, prenups are becoming increasingly common for couples with high net worth.
A prenuptial agreement simply formalizes the understanding of marital property. Most commonly, it is signed to protect the spouse with more separate assets from losing an unfair portion should the marriage dissolve. On the other hand, there are some factors that can render a prenuptial agreement as invalid. The factors are as follows.
- Fraudulent agreement.
- Mental capacity.
- Incomplete paperwork.
- Lack of proper legal representation.
- Ridiculous or lopsided provisions.
A prenup agreement requires both spouses to disclose their various assets. Cases on husbands are common nowadays for not disclosing all assets or undervaluing the assets so that they won’t be part of a settlement agreement. Unfortunately, prenups are vulnerable in this regard. This is a reason why you might want to seek a professional’s help initially.
If you can prove that you lack mental capacity at the time you signed the agreement then it can invalidate a prenuptial agreement. However, coercion or duress can be extremely difficult to prove. Moreover, different states have a different perspective of what it means to have been coerced into an agreement. Still, it is not unheard of for a prenuptial agreement to be void on this basis.
In the legal system, paperwork is very important. Poorly drafted initial paperwork can follow with consequences. Careless errors that are often neglected may also cost you. In law, paperwork is done with a guarantee of “crossed t’s and dotted i’s.” This is what a prenuptial agreement lawyer handles effectively.
Lack of Proper Legal Representation
As evidence is important to a case, proper legal representation is equally important for prenups. A situation can occur let’s say your fiance’s family got you to sign something for an asset to marry him. Years later, it might be difficult to claim without proper legal representation which can invalidate a prenuptial agreement.
Ridiculous or Lopsided Provisions
Some reasons can be extremely ridiculous. Imagine conditions like visits by in-laws, hairstyle, weight gain etcetera being the primary reasons for opting for divorce. From the legal perspective, an agreement might state that there will be no child support payment of whatsoever. This may also make a prenup agreement become terminated. A separate and independent counsel with different prenuptial agreement lawyers is advised for both partners prior to a prenup.
Bottomline, oral prenups are not valid. Prenups are required to be written and well documented legally for future reference. It should also be signed voluntarily before a date which the marriage can be termed as invalid. Both parties are required to execute it, preferably with a witness. Some family custody lawyers even suggest that a Judge’s presence is important to ensure that none of the both parties was coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement.