In our first post on prenups, we discussed a few things that may render a prenuptial agreement invalid in the event of a divorce. It is important to remember that courts tend to respect prenuptial agreements and they can be a valuable tool for determining things like alimony and property division. However, in some circumstances a judge may look upon a prenup less favorably than in others.
Some examples we discussed last time included a prenup signed under coercion, including one signed too close to the wedding date. If there is reason to believe one party was unfairly pressured into signing the agreement it may be possible to have clauses – or the entire contract – thrown out. Similarly, a prenup cannot contain illegal clauses. But those aren’t the only things that can lead to an agreement being thrown out.
A prenuptial agreement that is markedly unfair to one party may be vulnerable to being thrown out. For example, a prenup that requires one spouse to hand over all of their assets to the other may be found invalid by a judge. Unfairness can include unreasonable demands as well, including clauses that require a spouse to maintain a certain weight or have sex on a specified frequency.
Any prenuptial agreement may be more likely to be questioned or thrown out if it is written and signed without the assistance of someone with experience in your state’s laws governing divorce and property division.
If you are considering getting married – or divorced – it is wise to consult with a family law attorney who can review your agreement and help you protect your interests.