Protecting Your Prenuptial Agreement from becoming Null and Void
Prenuptial agreements are great tools for establishing financial rights and responsibilities going into a marriage. But what about when the marriage ends? Some people love prenuptial agreements but others will try to find ways to make the agreement invalid.
Here are three common reasons why prenuptial agreements are often invalidated:
- An individual felt pressured to sign the agreement
- There was not enough time to make a decision about the agreement
- The party did not have the opportunity to discuss the agreement with counsel
All of these reasons revolve around the time when the document is being signed. A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between two parties that occurs before a wedding. (Were it to happen after a wedding, it would be called a postnuptial agreement.)
For the prenuptial agreement to be valid, the rules of contract law must be followed. The three reasons above all highlight problems that can occur when engaging in a contract.
Prenuptial agreements are great tools for establishing financial rights and responsibilities going into a marriage.
There Should Not Be Pressure When Entering into a Prenuptial Agreement
If there is pressure when entering into an agreement, it cannot be said that the agreement was entered into voluntarily. Typically, if an agreement is not voluntarily entered into, or rather, if the agreement is the result of a person being forced into the agreement, then the agreement is not valid. As a result, it is important not to pressure a person into signing a prenuptial agreement if you want the agreement to withstand scrutiny.
The Agreement Should Be Signed Well Before the Wedding with Both Parties Having Ample Opportunity to Read the Contract
The issue of timing is important in prenuptial agreements. If a party does not have sufficient time to consider the agreement, then that person has been subject to a type of coercion. This type of coercion can threaten the legitimacy of the contract and make it null and void. Therefore, it is essential for the parties to have ample time to consider the contract so that the contract will withstand challenges to its legitimacy.
Each Party Should Always Have the Opportunity to Discuss the Agreement with Outside Counsel
View this video as Alexandra R. Lavinsky, Partner provides additional advice on Prenuptial Agreements.
Because prenuptial agreements are contractual in nature, they are supposed to be dealings that are made at arm’s length. What this means is that each party should be able to have the opportunity to fully understand the agreement and negotiate a favorable agreement. The law views agreements where both sides have attorneys as more legitimate. These types of agreements are seen to be made in a situation where both sides should have the opportunity to understand the agreement and negotiate their positions. As a result, it is crucial that each side has an attorney when seeking to uphold the validity of a prenuptial agreement.
The attorneys at Lavinsky Law are experienced in family law and can help individuals who are seeking to create prenuptial agreements as well as individuals who are going through divorces.
Brighter Days Are Ahead, if you have a question about prenuptial agreements, we invite you to call us today at (310) 274-2717 for a free consultation.