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What might render a prenuptial agreement invalid?

If you signed a prenuptial agreement with your wife before the marriage and she is challenging it as you divorce, you may be wondering if she actually has a case. The reality is that sometimes, yes, prenuptial challenges are invalid and do not succeed.

Here are some examples in which a court might toss out an agreement.

There was pressure and/or a rush to sign

If, two days before the wedding, a fiance tells his fiancee, "I want a prenuptial agreement. Here it is. Look it over and sign," then a judge might view that as pressure to sign. The time constraints would also mean that the fiancee may have lacked enough time to seek legal counsel to review the agreement. In fact, one of the parties not having a lawyer at all is a reason to toss out a prenuptial agreement. Each party should have independent counsel.

The provisions may be too hard to maintain

If your prenuptial agreement has a clause that requires the spouses to stay within a certain weight range or to have sex three times a week, then the agreement could possibly be invalid. Requirements such as these just are not too likely to withstand serious scrutiny. Even a clause about no cheating could be problematic if the definition of cheating is unclear and if there is no strong proof of cheating. 

A lack of balance exists

Even though many people want prenuptial agreements to safeguard assets they have before marriage and may accrue during a marriage, the agreement does need to have some balance. One party should not end up with a ton while the other gets a morsel. That said, it is perfectly acceptable in many cases for one spouse to give up the right to seek spousal support and the right to inherit from his or her spouse.

Not everything was disclosed

If one of you seriously undervalued assets or concealed assets from the other before signing the agreement, the prenuptial could be deemed invalid.

If your wife is using a challenge that sounds like one above, that does not necessarily mean you are doomed. Your agreement or parts of it may be valid, and a lawyer might be able to help.

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