PLM Family Law

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Will your prenuptial agreement hold up in court?

Prenuptial agreements are legal documents that couples may choose to sign before tying the knot. A prenup is useful for outlining the distribution of assets and financial responsibilities in the event of a divorce.

While many believe that a prenuptial agreement is a rock-solid safeguard, there are circumstances where it might not hold up in court.

Incomplete or inaccurate information

Prenuptial agreements rely on full and accurate disclosure of each party’s financial situation. If one spouse fails to provide complete information or intentionally hides assets, it could render the agreement invalid. Courts emphasize transparency in such matters to ensure fairness.

Unfair and unconscionable terms

Courts frown upon prenuptial agreements that contain terms that are grossly unfair or one-sided. If the agreement significantly favors one spouse over the other, especially to the point of being unconscionable, a court may declare it invalid.

Coercion or duress

If one party pressured the other into signing the prenuptial agreement under duress or coercion, the document could be invalid. Mutual consent is key, and any indication of one spouse forcing the other to sign under unfavorable circumstances may result in the agreement being set aside.

Protecting the validity of your prenup

To ensure your prenuptial agreement stands the test of legal scrutiny, be sure to approach the process with honesty and fairness. Both parties should be actively involved in the negotiation, with complete disclosure of their financial situations.

A survey conducted by The Harris Poll suggests that 15% of married, previously married or engaged Americans have or had a prenuptial agreement. Signing a prenup is a common and prudent decision, but it is important to know when what can cause the agreement to fall through.