Protecting Yourself In A Divorce: 3 Reasons For Contesting Prenuptial Agreements
To protect themselves financially during a divorce, approximately 3% of married couples have prenuptial agreements set in place that outline how assets are to be distributed in the event of a divorce. If you are preparing yourself for a divorce, it may be time to review your prenuptial agreement in order to determine whether all of the terms and conditions are fair and reasonable with a local divorce attorney. Although you may have signed a prenuptial agreement, the agreement may not necessarily be valid, and you may contest it in court during your divorce. Here are 3 of the most common reasons that divorce attorneys have used to contest prenuptial agreements.
The Agreement Was Signed Under Fraudulent Circumstances
When submitting and signing a prenuptial agreement, both couples must provide a full disclosure of all of the assets that he or she possesses. If the divorce attorney has discovered that your spouse has been hiding assets from you during the duration of your marriage and before the prenuptial agreement was signed, the prenuptial agreement will be deemed invalid and can be thrown out in court.
Your divorce attorney, however, will need to compile sufficient evidence to build a strong case that proves that your spouse undervalued his or her assets or failed to fully disclose all of his or her assets. If you already have the evidence that is needed, it will make your divorce attorney's job a lot easier.
The Agreement Was Signed Without Proper Legal Representation
During the honeymoon stage of your relationship, you may have signed the prenuptial agreement without fully understanding the terms and conditions surrounding it. This may be due to the fact that you signed without proper legal representation. Some states actually require that both parties have separate independent legal counsel before they sign the prenuptial agreement. In the event that one side did not have proper legal representation before signing, the prenuptial agreement is considered to be invalid and can be thrown out in court.
This is an argument that your divorce attorney will have to bring up when contesting the agreement. You may have to prove that you not only did not receive legal representation, but that you also did not fully understand the terms and conditions of the ironclad agreement. Proving the latter can be easy, especially if there is an unreasonable provision that would have prevented you from signing were you aware of it.
The Terms and Conditions of the Agreement Includes Ridiculous or Unreasonable Provisions
Even if the prenuptial agreement was signed with legal representation on both sides and is technically valid, you may still have a chance of throwing out the prenuptial agreement entirely in court if you are contesting the agreement based on the fact that some of provisions are ridiculous or simply unreasonable. In short, the prenuptial agreement must be found unconscionable. For example, you may contest a prenuptial agreement in court if one of the provisions states that you will not be receiving any child support. While this may have been agreed upon previously, a judge will likely amend this provision or throw the prenuptial agreement out entirely as it is found unconscionable, as each parent should provide support to any and all children.
If you had previous signed a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, but no longer find the terms and conditions to be fair, you should speak with a divorce attorney immediately in order to determine what steps you should take next. Your divorce attorney may be able to find a way to throw the prenuptial agreement out in court or make amends to some of the provisions that may now be deemed unreasonable or unconscionable in order to protect you during the divorce. For more information, contact a firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC.