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Can you attack the validity of a prenuptial agreement?

| Jun 20, 2019 | Firm News

Planning a wedding can be both fun and stressful. If you are looking to protect your financial and other interests, you may be thinking about drafting a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle. You should know, though, that not all prenuptial agreements are valid.

Even though prenuptial agreements can seem to be unromantic, they are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, many family lawyers have seen an uptick in clients requesting prenuptial agreements. If you need to attack the validity of a prenuptial agreement, you may want to make one or more of the following arguments.

1. You lacked mental capacity 

To enter into a contract, you must have some level of mental capacity and understand the terms of the agreement and its consequences. You must also be an adult. If you can prove you lacked mental capacity to execute the prenuptial agreement, you may be able to attack its validity successfully.

2. Your spouse was untruthful 

Prenuptial agreements generally require both parties to disclose important and consequential information. If your spouse undervalues assets or otherwise behaves untruthfully, he or she may not have entered into the agreement in good faith. You may be able to use your partner’s deception to contest the agreement.

3. The agreement is not fair 

Generally, people have wide latitude in drafting agreements. That is, even though a prenuptial agreement may seem to be unfair to one party, a judge is likely to defer to the bargaining power of everyone involved. Nonetheless, if the agreement is grossly unfair or overly lopsided, you may be able to argue that it would be unconscionable to enforce it. Remember, judges typically consider what is equitable when dividing property during a divorce.

4. The agreement does not comply with legal requirements 

For contracts to be valid, they usually must meet certain legal requirements. If you are thinking about challenging the validity of a prenuptial agreement, it is likely worth your effort to check for technical issues. If you see any meaningful ones, the agreement may be voidable.

Prenuptial agreements often help couples both to set expectations and protect themselves. If you have a bad agreement, though, you may need to challenge its validity. By looking for a meaningful argument, you increase your chances of freeing yourself from a poor prenuptial agreement.

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