If you are planning to get married soon, you may very well be considering a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can protect a number of interests and properties you may have before and during marriage, and it can be wise for many parties to have one.
Understand, though, that these are legal contracts, so you must take them seriously. This means working with a lawyer to draft one and reviewing it carefully before signing, as a prenuptial agreement will not be effective if it is invalid. Below are some reasons why the courts may set aside a prenuptial agreement and the decisions made within it.
Prenuptial agreements can contain a wide range of clauses, from responsibility for debts to who will keep a pet in the event of a divorce. However, not all clauses are enforceable. For instance, if your agreement includes illegal actions or if it addresses custody of children, courts may strike down those clauses. As such, it is best to avoid any unenforceable clauses.
Grossly unfair agreements
If an agreement is extremely unfair, it may not be valid. In other words, if enforcing the contract means that one party will be without adequate resources after a divorce, the courts can decide not to enforce the prenup.
Incomplete or inaccurate information
Often, the bulk of these contracts address financial matters. They can assign ownership to assets as well property values. Parties must also fully disclose all their assets. If one person lies about property, excludes debts, misrepresents assets or fabricates financial data, the agreement may not be enforceable.
Prenuptial agreements should be in writing. They should be signed by both parties after each has had the opportunity to review it with a lawyer. The parties should be legally and mentally fit to enter into a contractual agreement. They must also sign voluntarily, not out of coercion or undue influence.
Couples who create a prenuptial agreement should feel confident that they have a valid, fair contract in place. To ensure this happens, you can work with your lawyer to draft the legal document properly and carefully review it for troublesome clauses before signing.