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How to avoid your prenuptial agreement being invalidated

No one wants to think about a potential divorce when he or she gets married. However, divorces are a fact of life. Some people say that at least 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements are a way to protect your assets if that day ever comes.

Prenuptial agreements can be ruled to be invalid for a number of reasons, including some more obvious than others. Believe it or not, some believe that what their partner says in the heat of the moment is actually legally enforceable. Unfortunately, though, for those with that false impression, if there is no written agreement, then it is not enforceable.

Another common pitfall couples discover about their prenups when looking to enforce them is finding out that they were not properly executed. For a prenup to be valid, it must be signed by both parties and prior to the marriage actually occurring. It's important to note that it also must be signed voluntarily. If one is deemed to have been pressured into signing it, then it is not enforceable.

Likewise, if the contract was not read because one party did not have time to read it, then it may not be valid. A prenuptial agreement may be valid in part and invalid in part if it has both legal and illegal provisions. An example of an illegal provision would be any mention of a child support modification if a divorce were to occur. If information is found to be false or incomplete, then the agreement may considered to be invalid as well.

In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and attorneys are used in the preparation of the document, each party to the contract must retain their own individual attorneys. A failure to do so will make the agreement unenforceable. If the prenup is found to be grossly unfair or unconscionable, such as it would result in severe financial hardship to one party, then it may be ruled invalid as well.

If you or someone you know is considering a prenup, there are many details to weigh in doing so. A New York family law attorney may be able to help answer your questions and counsel you as to how to protect your rights.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Top 10 reasons a premarital agreement may be invalid," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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