Are Prenuptial Agreements Contestable?

Law Blog

A prenuptial agreement is an important document. Thanks to this document, prospective spouses can ensure that the other person is marrying them for who they are as opposed to what (or how much) they have. 

However, the validity of a prenuptial agreement can be legally contested just as is the case with other legal documents. This article provides a few grounds that can be used to contest the validity of a prenuptial agreement.

The Absence of Legal Counsel

Prenuptial agreements are binding legal documents. As such, it is required that each spouse get proper legal representation for the drafting and signing of the agreement. Legal practitioners who can help with the drafting and signing of prenuptial agreements include prenuptial agreement solicitors, family lawyers, and divorce law specialists.

A spouse who signs a prenuptial agreement in the absence of professional legal counsel may be deemed to have signed something that she or he did not fully comprehend, hence the opportunity to contest validity of the agreement on these grounds.

For couples about to get married, ensuring that each partner receives legal counsel before signing the prenuptial agreement is one way of avoiding pitfalls that may render the agreement invalid in the event of divorce.

Nondisclosure of Assets

A prenuptial agreement is entered into with the objective of protecting one's assets should she or he end up going separate ways from the other party. As such, both spouses are required to disclose all assets that they possess at the time of signing the agreement. Only then can such assets be protected under the agreement.

Consequently, the validity of a prenuptial agreement can be contested on the grounds that the other party failed to disclose all their assets when the agreement was signed.

Closely related to this is the fact that the agreement can be contested on grounds that some (or all) of the assets disclosed therein were undervalued when the agreement was signed. Thus, being honest about asset values can help avoid future contestation of the agreement.

Unrealistic Provisions

Last, but not least, prenuptial agreements that contain unrealistic (sometimes illegal) provisions can also be contested in a court of law. Usually, the justice system does not take much interest in the specificities of individual prenuptial agreements. However, this can change if an agreement contains unreasonable provisions. For example, a clause within the agreement that exempts a man from paying child support in the event of divorce is unreasonable enough to challenge the validity of the agreement.

Because provisions in prenuptial agreements differ significantly, it would be a good idea to seek the opinion of one of the three specialists mentioned above before deciding that a particular clause or provision within the agreement is unrealistic. Contact a representative from a firm like Marino Law for further information.


6 January 2016

Sorting out my dad's estate

My dad died when I was still pretty young so it's been a big surprise all the stuff I've had to do to sort out his estate. I'm an only child and my folks divorced when I was a baby so most of the work fell to me. He was kind of disorganised and grumpy, but at least he'd spoken to his lawyer and got a proper will drawn up which saved on confusion at a tricky time. If you are a young person dealing with the estate of a deceased parent, this blog is designed to help you navigate the legal processes.