Couples who create a prenuptial agreement before marriage enjoy benefits that can ease tensions in a marriage and make the divorce process easier if spouses choose to go their separate ways. Unfortunately, having a prenuptial agreement does not guarantee a smooth divorce. If an agreement contains weaknesses, a spouse who does not feel the agreement is fair may challenge it, especially in a high-asset divorce.
If you have a prenuptial agreement and believe that you may face divorce in the near future, now is the time to examine the agreement carefully. As you build your divorce strategy and plan for life on the other side of this difficult season, it is important to use all the legal tools and resources you need to keep your rights secure and protect your priorities until the dust settles.
Was your agreement created properly?
When it comes to legally binding documents, the details matter. A prenuptial agreement may have trouble holding up in court if it contains errors or was created improperly, which can prolong divorce and make the entire process more frustrating. Courts may not uphold prenuptial agreements because of errors such as:
- Incomplete or inaccurate information, such as partially disclosed finances
- A verbal agreement without written documentation
- A spouse signed an agreement without reading it
- A spouse signed an agreement without independent legal counsel
- Improper execution, such as insufficient witnesses or signing after the wedding
These errors create opportunities for either party to challenge the agreement. Depending on the circumstances, a spouse may challenge the agreement as a whole, or may only challenge a portion of the agreement. It is much easier to navigate these issues for any divorcing spouse if they understand the issues at hand and proactively plan a response.
Is your agreement legal and fair?
Prenuptial agreements may also receive challenges if they contain illegal provisions or if the agreement is grossly unfair to one party. These may include:
- A spouse signing an agreement under pressure from some other party
- A spouse signing an agreement without receiving time to properly review it
- Illegal terms in an agreement, such as provisions surrounding child custody or child support
- An agreement that cruelly disadvantages one party, to the point that a court cannot enforce it in good conscience
Prenuptial agreements provide maximum benefits when both parties create the agreement together and put in the work to make sure that the agreement meets all parties’ needs and priorities. If your agreement is not as strong as you wish it were, it is much better to understand this before it turns into a bad surprise later on.
Protecting your future begins now
Divorce is rarely an easy, quick process, and it is much easier to protect your interests with a strong divorce strategy. Once you understand your priorities and the challenges you may face along the way, you can create a strategy that keeps your rights secure and seeks a fair dissolution to your marriage. Begin building your divorce strategy today to protect yourself and the ones you love, moving you closer to the next chapter on the other side.