Signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married is not the most romantic thing in the world. But for many couples, having a prenuptial agreement is almost a necessity because it can protect your financial interests in the event of a divorce. It is becoming more common these days for couples to have some type of marital agreement in place, whether it is a prenup or a postnuptial agreement. However, when creating a prenup or postnup, people sometimes do make mistakes that can invalidate the entire contract.
If you are currently preparing for a prenup, it is important that you sign a document that is well-written, enforceable, and clear. Talk to an attorney if you need assistance.
Here's why a prenuptial agreement may not be invalid:
- Not written: The prenuptial agreement must be in writing in order to be enforceable. Oral agreements are rarely upheld by the courts, so be sure that your agreement is written in clear and concise language.
- Fraud / False information: The agreement is only valid and enforceable if all the information contained is true and accurate, including one's income, assets, and debts. If a party fails to disclose all one's assets or liabilities, this can be considered fraud and can invalidate a prenup.
- Signed under duress or coerced to sign: If one party is being forced or pressured to sign the prenup, a judge can throw out the agreement. To prove a person signed under duress, you can show evidence of threats, that you were under the influence, or a person lacked the mental capacity to understand the agreement.
- Signed without independent legal counsel: Each party must be represented by their own attorneys because each of you has your own interests at stake. This means that you should not have your fiance's attorney draft the prenup for you, or sign the contract before consulting with your own attorney first. Not having your own legal counsel can be seen as a red flag to judges.
- Invalid or illegal clauses: While a prenuptial agreement can cover nearly every aspect of a person's marriage, it cannot contain provisions about child support or child custody. If your agreement contains these clauses, it will likely be deemed unenforceable a judge - or even worse, a judge might invalidate the entire agreement.
- Unconscionable: If a prenuptial agreement contains any one-sided or unreasonable provisions, a judge can deem it invalid. Examples would be grossly unfair provisions such as relinquishing your right to spousal support despite your spouse being extremely wealthy, or if the prenuptial agreement leaves one spouse in poverty or on welfare after the divorce. Whether an agreement is unconscionable will depend on the judge.
Katy Family Law Attorneys Ready to Help
If you are ready to tie the knot with your significant other, call The Springer Law Firm, PLLC for assistance. We can provide thorough, customized, and effective representation for prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. Find out more about how we can help you protect your interests by calling our Katy family lawyers today. Schedule an initial consultation to get started.