Prenuptial agreements are an excellent way for couples to not only protect their financial interests – but to start their marriages off on the right foot. When both parties are on the same page regarding assets, responsibilities of each spouse, and expectations, this can make it easier for you and your spouse to thrive in your marriage. But make sure that your prenuptial agreement is done correctly – otherwise all of your protections can be easily undone. For more effective results, work with a skilled attorney.
A prenuptial agreement can be voided under these conditions:
- Lack of full disclosure: Parties must fully disclose their assets, properties, and debt so that each spouse understands the extent of the other’s financial condition. If a party lies about financial information, this can be considered fraud and invalidate the entire prenup.
- Signed under duress: Although proving that you were forced to sign a prenup can be difficult in court, it is still possible for a prenup to be voided if a person was drugged, threatened, or unfairly pressured by the other party’s family to sign the agreement.
- Signed without independent legal representation: Each party must be represented by separate and independent attorneys in order to show that he/she understands the terms and is doing so at his or her own will.
- Includes lopsided or illegal provisions: There are certain things that you cannot include in a prenup – such as child support or child custody provisions, or anything that only benefits one party. A judge may throw out your entire prenup if it contains such terms.
- Not in writing: Oral agreements are usually not acceptable, unless in extreme circumstances. Make sure that your prenuptial agreement is in writing and that you and your attorney has a copy.
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, it must be written in clear language and with executable terms. Whether you need help drafting a prenup or need a seasoned attorney to review your agreement before signing, call Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP. Our Newport Beach family law attorneys can provide competent and professional representation that protects your interests. For a free initial consultation, call our office at (949) 565-4158.