Premarital agreements (also called prenuptial agreements or "prenups") are becoming more and more common between engaged couples. Although no one goes into a marriage expecting to break up, research shows that 53% of marriages end in divorce. When the odds of staying together are that low, taking steps to secure your future is a reasonable thing to do. Signing a prenuptial agreement before your wedding can help you do just that.
A prenup will legally record and establish the property and financial rights of both you and your spouse-to-be before the unity of your assets. This allows legal rights and claims to property and finances in the event of a divorce. Therefore, if he had stock in Apple before he married you, he would have the right to keep those stocks in the case of a divorce. On the other hand, if you own the house in which you’ll both be living, it will still be your house in the event of a divorce.
These agreements are generally ironclad in order to give peace of mind to the signees. However, there are enforcement rules that could negate parts or all of the agreement. If the agreement is found to be null and void, any and all assets that were named in the agreement are no longer protected and can legally be divided in a divorce.
Actions That Nullify the Agreement
Although a prenup can protect an individual from being forced to share her property and finances with an ex, the agreement will not be enforced in a court of law if it is considered to be invalid. Common actions that will invalidate a prenup are:
- The original execution of the agreement was performed under duress or involuntarily. If one spouse is shown to have forced the other to sign without choice, the prenup could be thrown out.
- The original agreement was unconscionable (unfair or oppressive) or financially unjustified. If the agreement leaves one spouse financially destitute while the other thrives, a court is unlikely to completely enforce it.
- Failure to disclose all property, finances, or financial obligations at the time of execution. If bank accounts, property, or obligations are found to have existed at the time of the marriage but were not included in the agreement, the entire agreement will be invalid, and all property, including the additional assets, will be subject to division.
- The original document was not filed correctly. If the agreement was not properly and legally documented and witnessed, it is invalid.
- Performing an action stated within a restrictive clause. When executing a prenup, both parties can include restrictive clauses that invalidate the agreement if performed. For example, an infidelity clause will invalidate an agreement if one spouse has an extramarital affair.
Settlements and Help
Securing your future during a divorce can be extremely depressing, confusing, and difficult, especially if the divorce is not amicable. However, you can ease your pain, learn your rights, and better understand your prenup limitations with proper representation. Call us today to make sure you get all that you deserve. Remember, it’s your future, make sure it’s secure. Call now!
About to get married and need help setting up a premarital agreement? We’ll make sure all your bases are covered so you’ll have nothing to worry about in case of a separation. Marriage is a gamble, but that doesn’t mean if you’re dealt a bad hand, you have to lose. Contact us today to make sure you’re prepared for whatever life deals you.
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