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Why a prenuptial agreement may be at risk

Legal challenges to a prenuptial agreements are not a new concept, but many people may think that such a move is ill-conceived. This is due to a long standing myth about prenuptial agreements: that they are somehow impervious to being overturned or deemed invalid. In fact, that is not the case at all. Prenuptial agreements can be overturned (in part or wholly) if they violate a number of potential legal issues.

So what are some of the parameters necessary for a prenup to be overturned by a legal challenge? Here are a few common ways it can happen:

  • One of the simplest reasons is that a party was rushed to sign the prenuptial agreement, or they otherwise didn't have the time necessary to fully consider the prenup. There can be a lot of provisions and major topics discussed in a prenup, and if someone is rushed or pressured into signing without understanding what they are agreeing to, then the prenup could collapse upon a legal challenge.
  • The provisions in the prenup themselves can be a cause for a legal challenge. Was illegal information discussed? Did one of the parties to the prenup lie about the information contained within the document? Was an invalid topic discussed in the prenup? All of these circumstances could lead to a legal challenge.
  • Third and finally, the prenup has to be "fair" -- or at least as fair as a prenup can be. This doesn't mean the topics discussed in the prenup have to be perfectly even, or a 50/50 split. Instead, the document in total must be "conscionable." It can't favor one spouse too much, otherwise a judge may deem it unconscionable, striking down part or all of the prenup.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," Accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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