A prenuptial agreement is an important tool that some couples use if they are thinking of getting married. Prenups can help establish each spouse’s financial rights in the event of a divorce, including protecting a family business or securing personal assets.
However, in order for a prenuptial agreement to be effective, it must be valid. Below are the top 10 reasons why a prenup might be invalid.
- Lack of written agreement. In order for a premarital agreement to be valid and enforceable, it must be in writing.
- Lack of proper execution. Both parties must sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married in order for the document to be valid.
- One party was pressured into signing. A premarital agreement may be deemed invalid if one of the parties to the agreement was pressured into signing the agreement.
- One party failed to read the agreement before signing. A prenup may not be enforceable if either of the parties did not have the opportunity to read it before signing it.
- Not time for consideration. Before a premarital agreement is signed, both parties must be given enough time to review it and think it over. If the groom gives the wife the premarital agreement and a pen to sign it before walking the down the aisle, the agreement is probably invalid.
- Agreement contains invalid provisions. A prenup may be invalid if any of its terms violate the law, such as dealing with modification of child support obligations. However, when possible, courts do have discretion of striking the illegal clauses and enforcing the remainder of the agreement.
- Agreement contains false information. A prenup can only be enforce if it is entered into after full disclosure by both parties with regard to their income, assets, and liabilities. If one of the spouses provides the other with false information, it would invalidate the prenup.
- Agreement provides incomplete information. A prenup can also be invalid if it fails to provide pertinent information.
- Lack of independent counsel. When signing a prenup, both spouses separate interests are at stake. As such, both parties should be represented by their own attorneys. Otherwise, the prenup will not be enforced.
- Unconscionability. A prenuptial agreement allows for spouses to do just about anything, such as signing away the right to spousal support upon divorce or agreeing to give the right to inherit from the spouse at death. However, if the agreement is so grossly unfair that one party would face severe financial hardship while the other prospered, the court would likely find the agreement to be invalid.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are planning to sign a prenuptial agreement or any questions regarding these types of agreements, it is important to immediately contact an experienced attorney. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 314-2796, or complete our online form.