If you’re moving toward a divorce and you have a prenuptial agreement, you may already be counting on the terms of that agreement. You expect it to define how property gets divided, for example, and there may be specific protections within the prenup that you’re counting on.
But in some cases, people will find out that their prenuptial agreement is invalid. Why could this happen and what do you need to look out for?
First and foremost, a prenuptial agreement should be brought up well in advance of a wedding. If it is brought up at the last minute, it may not be valid because the person signed it under duress. They may also have signed it without actually reading or considering the document if they did not have time to do so, which could invalidate it.
Every part of the prenuptial agreement does have to be legal and permissible. If there are illegal provisions within it, then the court may consider throwing the entire agreement out – even if some of the provisions would otherwise have stood on their own.
Issues with free will
Finally, both parties must sign the prenuptial agreement willingly. If one person is under the influence of drugs or medication and lacks the mental capacity to sign, that could mean that the prenup is invalid. If that person only signs it under the dress or because they’re being coerced or manipulated, then the agreement may not stand, even with their signature. It only counts if both people genuinely do want to sign the prenup before getting married.
Even if you believe that your prenup is legal, divorce can be a complex process. Be sure you know what legal steps to take.