Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are theoretically mutually beneficial documents that engaged or married people execute to protect themselves. You and your spouse can easily divorce without litigation when you have a marital agreement on record.
Your marital agreement will dictate the terms on property division, custody and even spousal support. Sometimes, one of the people who signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is unhappy with the terms and does not want to use it in their divorce. When can you potentially challenge a prenuptial agreement?
Signing under duress may invalidate your marital agreement
Did your spouse threaten you, or were you in a position where you couldn’t challenge their requests? For example, were you financially dependent on them due to a cancer diagnosis or pregnant with their child? If you can show duress contributed to your signing, then the courts may not uphold the agreement.
No lawyer and misunderstandings may nullify marital agreements
Marital agreements often include confusing legal jargon that prevents people from properly interpreting them. It is usually a good idea to have both people signing a marital agreement go over the document with their own attorney. If you did not have a lawyer representing your interests, the courts might agree that you did not sign it with full knowledge of its contents.
Unconscionable terms may void your marital agreement
One of the top reasons the courts toss out prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is because they contain unethical or unconscionable terms. An agreement that solely benefits one spouse and offers nothing to the other is hard to defend in court. If your partner convinced you to sign an agreement that gives you no right to marital property, spousal support or child support, then the courts may agree that it would not be appropriate to uphold those terms.
Reviewing your marital agreement can help you determine your options for your upcoming divorce.