The Dangers of an Invalid Prenup
The concepts of “marriage” and “divorce” have changed significantly in the last 35 years. Americans are marrying – and remarrying – later in life and turning to prenuptial agreements as a means of protecting their individual assets. While some people might find these legal contracts pessimistic, other have embraced the reality that relationships, financial circumstances, and family dynamics naturally change with time. For this reason and more, a record number of engaged couples are signing prenups before their marriage licenses.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement can expedite the overall divorce process and protect your marital estate from being unfairly distributed. This legal contract serves as the framework to your divorce, allowing you and your future spouse to make clearheaded determinations regarding your assets, property, and debts. Many couples benefit from the drafting process because it allows them to openly discuss and negotiate their financial anxieties and premarital concerns. This helps them develop the building blocks necessary to a successful partnership long before the marriage even starts. Plus, if divorce is in the future, neither spouse needs to worry about it becoming an expensive and high-conflict affair. Aside from alimony and child support issues, everything has already been laid out and approved by both parties.
But what happens if the court decides the contract is invalid?
The court usually accepts the terms of a prenuptial agreement unless it’s challenged by one spouse or deemed invalid or “unconscionable.”
Your prenuptial agreement may be considered invalid under the following conditions:
- It isn’t a formal, written legal document
- A spouse was pressured to sign the prenup
- One or both parties didn’t fully disclose their assets or financial obligations
- The contract is incomplete or riddled with misinformation
- One spouse didn’t sign the prenup voluntarily
- The prenup favors one spouse financially
- One spouse didn’t have their personal attorney review the agreement before signing it
- The contact was signed without a translator (if necessary)
The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to protect your interests and financially prepare you for the next chapter of your life. If the court sets your prenup aside, it will handle the divorce as if there isn’t a legal contract in place. This means that your assets, properties, and businesses will no longer be protected.
The best way to avoid this situation is to make sure that you and your future spouse both have a legal representative who can meticulously review the draft and confirm that it protects your individual interests. A qualified and experienced lawyer can also ascertain if it reflects and adheres to current state and federal laws.
Draft a Comprehensive Prenuptial Agreement Today
If you’re interested in drafting, amending, or terminating a prenup, contact the New Port Richey prenuptial agreement attorney at Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office. We can help you develop or modify a comprehensive prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that achieves your personal, financial, and legal objectives.
Contact Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office at (727) 312-1112 to schedule a consultation.