Marriages, where one or both spouses come into the union with considerable assets, may involve prenuptial agreements to protect the said property in case of divorce. Considering the fact that, according to the American Psychological Association, first-time marriages have a 50% likelihood of breaking up, this is a not uncommon precaution even when the couple does not possess many assets.
However, what many individuals do not realize is that prenuptial agreements are not always ironclad. There are reasons a judge may declare one invalid.
1. Unfair terms
Lopsided, obviously unjust provisions are one grounds for throwing out a prenuptial agreement. For instance, ridiculous demands, such as hair color, weight or beauty requirements, as stipulations for receiving money in a divorce are unfair. A prenuptial agreement waiving all child support is also most likely invalid.
2. Murkiness surrounding consent
A prenuptial agreement signed under coercion or duress or at the last minute is also unfair. It is also invalid if the one signing had an impairment of some sort (intoxicated or ill) or was mentally incompetent at the time of signing.
3. Falsified information
If a prenuptial agreement contains wrong facts pertaining to a person’s assets and financial condition, it may be unenforceable. Individuals must truthfully disclose this information for the contract to be valid.
While prenuptial agreements exist to shield people from unfair loss, they do not give individuals the right to do so to the severe and unjust detriment of their spouses. Both parties may wish to have their own legal counsel to verify the veracity of such documents before signing to avoid inequitable situations. Individuals involved in a high asset divorce who signed a prenuptial agreement with skewed terms or under bad circumstances may have recourse to have the agreement thrown out.