Collaborative Family Law And Mediation Services

How you can invalidate a prenuptial agreement

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements |

A prenuptial agreement can be a great way to protect your financial interests before you tie the knot. It can let you and your spouse focus on building a strong and successful marriage without having to worry about financial issues. Yet sometimes these marriages don’t work out. In those circumstances are you absolutely bound by the terms of the prenuptial agreement?

Not necessarily. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be arguments that warrant invalidation of the prenuptial agreement, which could more fully protect your financial interests as you move into the next chapter of your life. And, you may be able to resolve the issue informally and amicably simply by pointing out the issues.

What circumstances warrant invalidation of a prenuptial agreement?

There are several. They may not all apply to your case, but let’s look at some common justifications for prenuptial agreement invalidation so that you know what to look for when divorce is on the horizon:

  • Fraudulent misrepresentation: When you sign off on a prenuptial agreement, you should do so with a full understanding of the facts relevant to the agreement. But if your spouse lied to you about their income, their assets, or their debt, then you’ve been tricked into the agreement. In these instances, you might be able to convince a court that the agreement should be invalidated, which gives you an opportunity to argue for the fair property division and spousal support outcomes you deserve.
  • Extreme pressure: You should sign off on a prenuptial agreement on your own accord. If your spouse forced you in some way to sign it, then you can argue to the court that you wouldn’t have agreed to the terms of the agreement absent the coercion to which you were subjected. This is a particularly good legal argument if you have witnesses who can back up your argument.
  • Lack of mental capacity: A prenuptial agreement is a marital contract, and as such for the agreement to be binding you must have had the mental capacity necessary to enter into a contract. If you were under the influence or experiencing a mental health episode at the time you signed the agreement, then you might be able to invalidate it.
  • Fundamental unfairness: Sometimes prenuptial agreements are extremely one-sided. When this happens, you might be able to convince the court to find that the agreement is unconscionable, and it therefore shouldn’t be enforced.
  • Lack of time to consider the terms: You should have time to review the terms of your prenuptial agreement before signing off on it. If you weren’t given enough time, then it’s going to be hard for your spouse to show that you knew what you were agreeing to when the document was executed.
  • Nothing is in writing: In some instances, a verbal promise can be considered a contract. But your spouse is going to have difficulty demonstrating that you verbally agreed to prenuptial terms pertaining to each other’s finances. So, if your agreement isn’t in writing, then you might have a strong argument to invalidate it.

Don’t let a bad prenuptial agreement derail your future

An unfavorable prenuptial agreement can wreak havoc on your life if you let it. To protect your future as much as you can, then, be sure to assess whether you have strong arguments to invalidate the agreement. If so, then diligently gather the evidence you need to support your position and craft ways to persuasively present them to your spouse. By doing so, you’ll hopefully be able to secure the outcome you want, giving you stronger financial footing moving into the next stage of your life.