Even though wedding vows traditionally include the phrase “till death do us part,” the truth is some marriages end in divorce. If your marriage ends in divorce, one of the most contentious issues you will need to address is the division of marital property. This can be problematic if there is no way of separating marital property from personal property during divorce. And this is where a prenuptial agreement comes in.
A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a binding agreement that a soon-to-marry couple enters to define the terms of the marriage. It is also meant to separate marital property from personal property. But do you have a valid prenup?
Here are three reasons why the court may invalidate your prenuptial agreement:
When the agreement is verbal
Like with any contract, a verbal prenup cannot be enforced. In other words, the agreement must be written and signed. Otherwise, when emotions soar during the divorce, things might boil down to the “he said, she said” scenario. And the court will have a difficult time determining whom to believe.
When one party is dishonest
One of the biggest no-nos when drafting a prenup is failure to disclose what each of you own or owe. This also applies during the divorce. In signing the prenuptial agreement, you are asserting that you have given a full disclosure of what you owe and own. Your prenup will be invalidated if you are not truthful.
When there is coercion or manipulation
For your prenuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must voluntarily sign it. This means that each party must take time to read and understand the contract before signing. It also means that the prenup cannot come with pre-conditions.
Enforcing the prenup
If you are considering marriage, you might want to protect your interests. Knowing your legal options can help you create and sign a prenuptial agreement that will be enforceable when the need arises.