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When might a prenuptial agreement be unenforceable?

Some couples in Gig Harbor may think that prenuptial agreements are only for celebrities or the ultra-wealthy. However, this is not the case. A prenuptial can be a valuable tool in protecting your financial interests should your marriage end in divorce. That being said, it is important that all the necessary formalities are met when creating such an agreement, so it is valid and enforceable.

In general there are several reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be considered invalid. First of all, a prenup must not be fraudulent. Each party is required to make a full disclosure of all of his or her property and financial assets. Trying to hide assets to try to get the upper hand in a divorce settlement is never a good idea. Failing to disclose all assets could invalidate a prenup.

In addition, it is important to remember that a prenup is a legal contract. It needs to be drafted with the appropriate formalities. If not, it may be unenforceable.

Another reason a prenup may be considered invalid is if one party was coerced into signing it. However, it is important to keep in mind that it can be challenging to prove coercion. That being said, if it can be shown that perhaps due to illness or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs a party did not have the requisite mental ability to enter into a prenup this could also be grounds for invalidating it.

Moreover, when creating a prenup, it is important for each party to have his or her own legal representation. Each person's individual interests need to be protected so that a fair agreement can be made. If a person did not have separate counsel when the prenup was made, it may not be enforceable.

Finally, a prenuptial agreement needs to be conscionable. If it is extremely one-sided it may not hold up in court.

These are only some general reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be unenforceable. State laws regarding the execution and enforceability of a prenuptial agreement vary. This post cannot substitute the advice of an attorney. If you are interested in drafting a solid prenup or if you seek to have one ruled unenforceable, you should seek the help you need to achieve your goals.

Source: Forbes, "Five Reasons Your Prenup Might Be Invalid," Jeff Landers, April 2, 2013

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