Jump to Navigation

What makes a prenuptial agreement invalid?

As we have noted on this blog many times in the past, a prenuptial agreement can save spouses a lot of time and headaches later on, should they decide to divorce. A prenuptial agreement can decide many issues in advance, particularly with regard to property division. The process of dividing up the couple's property and distributing it to the ex-spouses is often the most difficult and time-consuming part of a divorce. A valid prenuptial agreement can help the parties to greatly reduce the amount of time and negotiation required for property division.

However, it's important to note that the agreement has to be valid. The state of Missouri requires many formalities for and imposes many rules on prenuptial agreements -- more than for almost any other type of contract. A court can find that a prenuptial agreement is invalid, and require the spouses to negotiate property division and other matters all over again.

There are many reasons a prenuptial agreement may be found invalid. A prenuptial agreement must be in writing, properly signed and executed. It must list all pertinent information. Neither party can be pressured into signing it, and each party must have time to read and consider it before signing.

Even if all these requirements are met, a court may declare the agreement invalid and unenforceable if it finds that the contract is "unconscionable." This means that if the terms of the agreement are so grossly unfair to one party that it shocks the conscience, the court can declare the agreement invalid.

Another important requirement for a prenuptial agreement is that each party must be represented by independent counsel. It's very important for people considering signing a prenuptial agreement to talk to a lawyer beforehand. For those who are getting divorced and who have already signed a prenuptial agreement, it may be worth speaking to a lawyer to see if the agreement would hold up in court.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Joseph J. Porzenski
Email Us  (spam free)

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Subscribe to RSS Feed
FindLaw Network

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.