Is Your Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
It is becoming increasingly common for couples to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement before they get married. A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is simply a written contract that lists all the property and assets (as well as debts) each party is bringing to the marriage. It also states each person’s property rights should the marriage end.
Individuals of high net worth have traditionally used prenuptial agreements to protect their wealth, but there are many circumstances where a prenup can come in handy. Individuals with children who are entering a second marriage can use prenuptial agreements to clarify who will inherit which family assets. For couples where debts are an issue, a prenup can be used for protection from pre-existing debt. Without a prenup in place, it is state law that defines ownership of property acquired during the course of marriage and what happens to it if one person dies or a couple decides to divorce.
Making Sure Your Prenuptial Agreement is Valid
If you decide a prenup is right for you, then it is important to ensure it will hold up in a court of law. There are several requirements that must be met for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid. For instance, both you and your future spouse should have independent counsel when the agreement is drawn up. In some states, it is required by law as individual interests are at stake and should be represented as such. Your family lawyer cannot act for both of you.
You must enter into the prenup after full disclosure of all income, assets, and liabilities. Failure to provide all pertinent information and/or providing false information can render a prenup invalid.
It sounds obvious, but all provisions contained in the prenuptial agreement must be valid under the law. Any clauses that violate the law will not hold up in court.
Both parties must have ample time to review the prenuptial agreement and make careful consideration before signing. In other words, if your partner hands you the prenup just before the ceremony and you did not have a reasonable amount of time to consider it, the prenup is invalid.
Likewise, if you did not read the prenup because it was handed to you with a stack of papers to sign, it is likely that it will not be enforceable. The same goes for a prenup that was signed under coercion or pressure.
Finally, all prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed before the wedding to be valid. Consult with a qualified family lawyer if you are considering a prenuptial agreement.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Experienced Counsel for All Types of Family Law Matters
Creating a prenuptial agreement requires each party to have independent counsel. You can trust the professional guidance you will receive when you are represented by a Bucks County divorce lawyer from Freedman & Lorry, P.C. For all your family law matters, our experience and skill can help you achieve the best outcome and while making the process as stress free as possible. Call 888-999-1962 today to schedule a confidential consultation or contact us online. We have offices in Philadelphia to represent clients in Bucks County and Delaware County, as well as offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina for your convenience.