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What can invalidate a prenuptial agreement?

In the past, we have spoken about the benefits of drafting legal document prior to or after a marriage. Creating a prenuptial agreement before a wedding may feel like an uncomfortable discussion to have, but it is a discussion that should be, at very least, considered. For couples who decide to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is also important to understand what is required and what could potentially nullify or invalidate a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Although this may seem obvious, it is still important to understand that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement must be drafted in writing and signed by both parties for it to be considered by the courts. It must also be assured that both spouses have read the entire agreement and understand its contents.

In an effort to protect either spouse from intimidation, it is required that neither spouse is pressured into signing the document, whether by the other spouse or even a third party such as a family member, friend or lawyer. This also means that both spouses are given ample time to fully read, understand and consider the contents of the prenuptial agreement in its entirety.

The prenuptial agreement must only include information that is correct and complete by both parties. What does this mean? This means that information, such as each party's current income, assets and liabilities including any and all debts, are disclosed in the document. A prenuptial agreement that includes false or incomplete information, whether intentional or accidental, could be grounds for a judge to deem the entire or parts of the prenuptial agreement as invalid.

Drafting, signing or enforcing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may seem like a daunting, emotional and even complex process; however, including such a document in a marriage could help a couple tremendously in the event of a divorce. Those dealing with this or any other divorce issue should take steps to fully understand the options available to them and what rights are afforded to them.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Top 10 Reasons a Prenuptial Agreement May be Invalid," Accessed Nov. 15, 2016

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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