Is Your Prenuptial Agreement Valid?

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Is Your Prenuptial Agreement Valid?

22 June 2018
 Categories: , Blog

If you want to protect your assets and your future spouse's assets, you both need the protection of a prenuptial agreement. However, you should be aware that not any prenuptial agreement will do. Even if you both agree on the terms that you set, you can't both sign papers and expect them to be upheld by a court of law. Here are some major mistakes you could make that renders the entire agreement invalid.

Not Having Due Consideration

A contract has to have benefits for both parties to be considered valid. In other words, it can't be completely one-sided. This can seem counter-intuitive, but it's meant to protect a spouse who could be signing away more of his or her rights than they realize. You cannot draft a contract that says "I get absolutely everything, regardless of how long our marriage lasts." This will be thrown out in court. On the other hand, you can draft a contract that says "I get absolutely everything that I had prior to marriage" and it may be equitable enough to be upheld.

Not Being Properly Witnessed

A prenuptial agreement should be witnessed by a third party, ideally a notary. Even if the document is signed by both parties, there can be questions regarding legality. One of you could claim that their signature was forged. Even if the signature is obviously accurate, it's possible to claim that the document was signed under duress. A notary can be found at virtually any bank or government office.

Not Being Willing

As mentioned above, a prenuptial agreement can be thrown out if a party was pressured into it. This is true even if the document was witnessed. If you or your spouse can show that you were coerced into signing it, then the agreement may be thrown out. If you or your soon-to-be spouse do not want to sign a prenuptial agreement, it isn't a good idea to sign it anyway, for this reason.

Not Having Independent Counsel

Finally, a prenuptial agreement can actually be thrown out if both of you don't have your own lawyer. If you're both using the same lawyer, then it can be argued that the lawyer was biased in favor of one of you.

Since a prenuptial agreement can be considered invalid, it's even more important to draft your agreement with the help of a lawyer. A family and divorce attorney will be able to make sure both you and your spouse are covered.