A prenuptial agreement is often seen as an indestructible, important tool to use heading into a marriage – and with good reason. A prenuptial agreement anticipates the event of a divorce and instructs spouses on how assets are to be distributed. Often, and perhaps stereotypically, prenuptial agreements are used by spouses with significant assets to ensure that their spouse-to-be is not looking to get married, only to divorce and hijack half of the wealth.
In a high profile case outside of Texas, a court threw out a prenuptial agreement between a millionaire and his wife. The move might have had some local residents scratching their heads and second guessing the resiliency of a prenuptial agreement.
While they might be uncommon, there are some legal grounds in which prenuptial agreements can be revoked
•· A spouse was forced to sign or didn’t have mental capacity: If a spouse can prove that they were forced to the sign the prenup and didn’t want to, the agreement can be revoked. This is often hard to prove in court.
•· Paperwork not correctly filed: If a prenuptial agreement is mishandled and doesn’t comply with the proper legal procedure, it will not be binding.
•· Assets are misrepresented: The prenuptial agreement must be accurate and give a genuine account of assets. If a spouse tries hiding assets or undervaluing them, the prenuptial agreement could be void.
•· Unrealistic expectations: If the prenuptial agreement contains off-the-wall provisions that are not realistic, it might not hold up in court. These don’t have to be bizarre provisions, either. Trying to skirt responsibility for child support in the event of a divorce, for example, is considered unrealistic.
•· Adopting the agreement without qualified legal representation: Signing an agreement with proper legal advisement is always encouraged.
Prenuptial agreements are still useful and valuable in the event of a divorce. It is not one that should be thrown together on a whim.
Source: Forbes, “Five Reasons Your Prenup Might Be Invalid,” Jeff Landers, April 2, 2013