Prenuptial agreements are intended to give soon-to-be-spouses control over what should happen to their assets if their marriage ends in divorce. However, far too often they are used as a way to deprive one spouse from marital assets in an unfair manner.
If you entered a prenuptial agreement that you don't think was fair, you are probably wondering if there is anything you can do to get out of the contract. The good news is that there are numerous reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be invalid, including:
The prenup was not in writing
All martial contracts must be in writing in order to be valid in court. A verbal prenuptial agreement cannot be enforced.
You were pressured into signing
This includes being pressured to sign the prenup too close to the wedding date. A prenup presented to someone hours or days before a planned wedding is often invalid.
You didn't actually read the prenup before signing
If you signed the prenup without reading it first, it may not be valid in the eyes of the court because there was no "meeting of the minds" that is necessary to form a legal contract.
You didn't actually sign the prenup
Both parties must sign the prenup in order for it to be valid. If you were presented it, read it and verbally agreed to it, the prenup may still be unenforceable.
Certain aspects of the prenup are invalid
A prenup can address many financial-related issues, including property division and alimony. However, it cannot determine child support obligations or enforce any other provisions that are invalid under the law.
Your spouse was not honest about assets and liabilities
If your fiancé failed to fully disclose financial information, including his or her income, assets, net worth or debts, the prenup could easily be thrown out.
You did not have your own lawyer review the prenup
In some cases, judges will invalidate prenups if the party who was asked to sign the prenup did not have an opportunity to have his or her own attorney review the contract.
The prenup is grossly unfair
A prenup that favors one spouse over the other can be valid, so long as there aren't other issues with the contract. However, a prenup that is so one-sided that it can be considered grossly unfair may be deemed unconscionable, and unenforceable, by the court.
As you can see, even if you believe you entered a prenup prior to tying the knot, it is certainly possible that problems with the contract could make it invalid. The only way to know for sure is to meet with an experience family law attorney for advice and guidance.