One of the most commonly believed misconceptions about prenuptial agreements is that they cannot be invalidated. The reality is that under certain circumstances, a divorcing spouse could successfully challenge a prenuptial. There are various situations in which this is possible. Here are just a few.
The Prenuptial Was Signed Under Duress
If the court believes that you or your spouse signed the prenuptial agreement under duress, part or all of the agreement could be invalidated. Being under duress does not necessarily mean that there was a physical threat that led to the signing. The threat could have been financial or emotional.
For instance, if one spouse paid for the wedding and the other threatened not to go through with it if the agreement was not signed, it could be considered signed under duress. The spouse could argue that his or her fear of losing out on the relationship and the monies paid toward the wedding placed pressure on his or her to sign the agreement and move forward with the relationship.
There Was Not Enough Time to Review It
Since a prenuptial agreement is a legal document, it is important that both parties fully understand what they are signing before doing so. However, this does not always happen. When a spouse does not have time to review the prenuptial, he or she could ask for it to be invalidated.
For instance, if your spouse presented the prenuptial agreement to you a couple of hours before the wedding, you likely did not have time to review the document. Without a chance to review it, you do not have a chance to fully understand what you are agreeing to and whether or not there are modifications that should be made to the agreement.
Both Parties Used the Same Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes that a couple can make when it comes to creating a prenuptial agreement is to use the same lawyer. By using the same lawyer, there is no guarantee that the best interests of each party are being taken into account. Depending on the relationship of one of the spouse's to the lawyer, there could be a significant disadvantage to the other spouse.
For instance, if your spouse and the lawyer were friends before the prenuptial was created, the lawyer would likely be more vested in protecting his or her friend than you.
Talk to a family law firm, like Ritter & LeClere APC Attorneys At Law, to learn other ways you can work to invalidate a prenuptial agreement.