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Is your prenuptial agreement as strong as you think it is?

If you have a prenuptial agreement, you may not need to deal with some of the most frustrating aspects of a divorce, provided that your agreement holds up in court. The act of creating a prenuptial agreement does not protect spouses from surprises in the divorce process, and there are plenty of unexpected obstacles that may pop up before reaching an official divorce decree.

Each prenuptial agreement is different, just as each marriage is different, and if one or both spouses find fault in the agreement, they may choose to challenge it in court. Likewise, even if both spouses agree to the terms of a prenuptial agreement, courts may not approve the agreement's terms if they are illegal or unconscionable.

If you have not reviewed your own prenuptial agreement for any weaknesses recently, now is the time to do so. As you build your divorce strategy, it is wise to understand the problems you may encounter so that you can prepare for them properly and keep your rights and priorities safe throughout the divorce process and beyond.

Unacceptable elements in prenuptial agreements

In order for a prenuptial agreement to hold water legally speaking, it must meet several basic standards. Spouses must disclose all their assets as part of a prenuptial agreement, and each spouse must have proper time and personal legal guidance to review the document before signing the agreement.

Prenuptial agreements may not hold up if a spouse:

  • Does not receive proper time to review and amend the agreement
  • Does not have access to independent legal council during document review
  • Signs the agreement under duress
  • Signs the agreement without reading it

Courts may also take issue with the terms and execution of the agreement, even if both spouses agree to its validity. Courts may not uphold prenuptial agreements if:

  • The agreement is not in written form
  • The agreement was not executed properly, such as one party signing after a wedding
  • The agreement contains false or incomplete information
  • The terms of the agreement are illegal, such as conditions surrounding child support
  • The terms of the agreement are unconscionable to one party, leaving a spouse with an undue burden or stripping them of rights unfairly

As you approach your divorce, a clear understanding of weaknesses in your prenuptial agreement helps you anticipate complications and steer around them.

Begin building the next chapter of your life today

For most spouses, divorce is a seismic event that impacts every area of their lives in some way or another. However, a civil, responsible divorce is possible for couples who have been together for many years, have complex assets to divide, and child custody and support issues to resolve.

A strong prenuptial agreement can certainly help keep the process moving along smoothly, and a strong legal strategy built specifically for your needs and priorities helps keep you focused on the big picture as you move from this chapter of life into the next.

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