What could cause a prenuptial agreement to be invalid?

It's wise for just about every couple who gets married to have a prenuptial agreement. Among other things, it can define individual assets and debts that the two people are brining into the marriage and how those accumulated during the marriage will be divided in a divorce.

However, if a prenup isn't properly drawn up, it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. It can be ruled invalid by a court. Following are some common issues that invalidate prenups.

One party was coerced into signing it or didn't have the mental capacity to understand it. Someone can assert, for example, that they were under the influence or ill when they signed it. They may contend that they were pressured to do so. These things can be difficult to prove. However, if the agreement was signed the day before the wedding and only one person had an attorney, that could lead a judge to throw it out.

That brings us to another reason a prenup could be invalid. Both parties should have their own attorney. Even if one person has an attorney draw up the agreement, the other should have another attorney review it. If there was only one attorney involved, you could make the case that you signed this contract without any independent legal representation.

If you can prove that your spouse didn't fully and truthfully disclose his or her assets and/or income when the prenup was signed, it will likely be invalidated. Sadly, it's not uncommon for spouses with considerable wealth to undervalue their assets or leave some out altogether.

If a prenup is too one-sided, that can raise suspicions for a judge, who may throw it out. If an agreement, for example, provides for one spouse to get all of the assets in a divorce, it may be deemed unconscionable.

Judges may also look askance at a prenup that has all sorts of clauses regarding personal behavior. While some people include language about the ramifications if a spouse is unfaithful, when you start adding things like how much weight someone can gain and how often they're expected to have sex, a judge may just throw it out if one party contests it.

Experienced New York family law attorneys can work to ensure that any prenup you draw up or sign is valid and protects your interests. This can save you time, money and legal wrangling later.

Source: Forbes, "Five Reasons Your Prenup Might Be Invalid," Jeff Landers, accessed Jan. 30, 2017

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