If you took the time to draft a prenuptial agreement before getting married, you have accomplished a family law feat that most people forget or are too intimidated to try. A prenuptial agreement can be a fantastic way to protect your assets and interests, just in case you decide that your marriage no longer makes you happy. But, like any other form of legal contract, a prenup won’t mean a thing the day you need it if it wasn’t created properly.
Here’s five reasons a prenuptial agreement might be null and void in the eyes of the court:
- Fraud: There are many reasons a prenuptial agreement could be made under fraudulent pretenses, but the most common is a failure to disclose all pertinent information to the other spouse. For example, if your spouse intentionally hid a wealth of finances from you while the prenup was being drafted and signed, it could be considered fraudulent and unusable.
- Coercion: If either party is pushed towards signing the prenuptial in a way that could be considered outside a usual conversation, it might be labeled coercion. Mental disabilities or temporary incapacitations, such as from drugging or intoxication at the time of signing, can also turn a prenuptial agreement into a voided contract.
- Clerical error: Possibly the most embarrassing mistake on this list, filing your prenuptial agreement with the wrong family law court can render it unusable. Always double-check with your county clerk, or speak to an attorney if you aren’t sure.
- No representation: Speaking of legal counsel, some courts won’t accept a prenuptial agreement if it was written and signed without independent attorneys representing each spouse being there. This is basically a way to ensure everyone knows what they are signing, and a pseudo-form of notarizing it. It is also worth noting that a signature is required, meaning oral prenups are not acceptable.
- Favoritism: Prenuptial agreements should be used to protect your assets and interests in case of divorce. It is not meant to take those of your spouse, or leave them struggling to make ends meet. If the prenup has language that clearly favors or disfavors one spouse, a judge might see it as an attempt to gain a legally “unfair” advantage and toss it right out.
Rather than spending time and money wondering if your prenuptial agreement will be enforceable one day, hire the legal team that can let you know for certain. Contact Hedayati Law Group, P.C. today and ask our Long Island family lawyers about getting a free case analysis, during which we can point you in the right direction.