Challenging a prenuptial agreement

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in High Net Worth Divorce on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Asking one’s fiancée to sign a prenuptial agreement may be the last thing that one preparing for a wedding in Springfield wants to consider. Many may view such an action as immediately casting doubt as to whether the marriage will actually work out. Yet more and more people (particularly those coming into their marriages with significant assets) are requesting such agreement. Indeed, information shared by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has shown a 62 percent increase in such agreements in recent years.

Typically, a prenuptial agreement stipulates the following:

  • That the parties to a marriage will retain whatever assets they bring into the union
  • How whatever assets the couple earns during the marriage will divided in the event of a divorce
  • What each party is entitled to in a divorce settlement

Yet simply a couple has signed a prenuptial agreement does not mean that such an agreement cannot be challenged. Forbes Magazine lists some common scenarios where one might be able to invalidate the terms of their prenuptial agreement. Chief among these are cases where one was forced to sign such an agreement under duress (e.g. one side refusing to go forward with the marriage unless the other signs the agreement). Another is if the terms of the agreement are lopsided (or clearly favor one side over the other). One side of a marriage concealing assets from the other during the time when the prenuptial agreement was negotiated can also render such a contract invalid.

There are also a number of administrative reasons why a prenuptial agreement might be considered invalid. Not filing the agreement through the proper channels or with the right documents can question its validity, as can one side not having legal representation during its initial negotiation.

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