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Prenuptial agreements can't be challenged... right?


It is a common myth that prenuptial agreements can't be challenged. Once they are signed, that's it -- the contract is valid and there's no way for either spouse to get out of it, or so the myth goes. However, prenuptial agreements can have their flaws, and as we talked about previously, there are a number of topics and provisions that can't be included in these premarital contracts.

Now that we have established that prenuptial agreements can be legally challenged or appealed, let's take a look at some of the scenarios that can prompt a spouse to challenge their prenuptial agreement:

  • Logistical issues with the prenuptial agreement often lead to a challenge. There are a few examples of this. If the prenup was verbal in nature and not actually written down, it doesn't count. If the prenup has invalid provisions or false information included in it, then it can be challenged.
  • Consideration for time is a major factor with prenups. If your spouse pressured you into signing the document on the day of your wedding (or in general), or if you did not have the time to fully consider the ramifications of the document, a judge may strike it down.
  • Two more things that can affect the validity of a prenup: lack of independent counsel and "unconscionability." You and your spouse need to get separate lawyers, and then have the document cleared, otherwise the contract is at risk. As for "unconscionability," the basic idea is that the prenup can't be so unbalanced that is deemed an "unconscionable" contract. In other words, the prenup needs to have some semblance of balance and equality to it.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," Accessed Sept. 1, 2015

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