Maybe you thought of your prenup as a necessary insurance policy in case things went bad — or maybe you had doubts about your relationship from the start. Either way, now that your marriage has crumbled, you’re glad that you have that little document safely tucked away. You’re counting on it to protect your interests during the divorce.
But is that prenup actually enforceable? These days, it’s very easy to hop online and fill out just about any kind of legal form you need. The only problem is that prenups must follow certain rules to be considered valid.
Here are some of the reasons your prenup may not hold up in court:
- It contains invalid provisions: Prenups can’t violate the law. A prenup cannot, for example, set terms about child support (because that income belongs to the child, not either of the parents). Any illegal provisions can jeopardize the entire prenup.
- It’s unconscionable: Above all, prenups are designed to be fair. If a prenup is too “one-sided” and puts a dependent spouse at a serious disadvantage, the court may decide that it is unconscionable to enforce.
- Your spouse didn’t read the prenup: If your spouse signed the prenup without a glance, that may have been a dramatic show of faith in you — but it could also invalidate the agreement. Ideally, both parties need to have any prenups reviewed by their own attorneys before signing.
- You pressured your spouse into signing: Prenups should be entered into willingly by both parties. That’s the whole point of an agreement. If you pushed your spouse into signing by threatening to cancel the wedding or something similar, that could be grounds to nullify the agreement.
Prenuptial agreements can make a divorce much easier or they can be the start of a real battle. For more advice on your situation, talk to an experienced legal advocate today.