There are many reasons why couples who are planning to get married may wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement. A “prenup” can protect the ownership of assets that each party will be bringing into the marriage, ensuring that a person will continue to own certain assets if they end up getting a divorce. This can be especially beneficial for business owners, people with large incomes or family wealth, or those who have children from a previous relationship. However, spouses will need to meet certain requirements to ensure that their prenup will be valid. If an agreement is not drafted correctly, and one spouse challenges the agreement during the divorce process, some or all of the terms of the agreement may be found to be unenforceable.
Reasons a Prenup May Be Unenforceable
Most of the time, a prenuptial agreement may only be challenged based on the grounds that it was either not signed voluntarily, or that it was unconscionable.
A person may claim that they did not voluntarily sign a prenup, but instead were coerced or threatened into signing it. For example, if one party presented a prenuptial agreement to the other on the day of the couple’s wedding and stated that they would not get married unless it was signed, this could be considered coercion, and the agreement might be found to be invalid on that basis. A couple can avoid this possibility by signing the prenup well in advance of the wedding, as well as by making sure that each party has the opportunity to consult with their own attorney to ensure they fully understand their rights and how they will be affected by the agreement.
A prenup may be challenged on the grounds of unconscionability if its terms are grossly unfair to one party, such as by making decisions about property division that would cause one spouse to experience financial hardship following a divorce. However, a spouse can typically only make this type of challenge if they were not provided with a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party’s income, assets, and financial obligations, and they did not know or could not have reasonably known about the other party’s assets or obligations. To avoid this issue, spouses should provide each other with a full disclosure of their financial circumstances prior to signing a prenup, or, alternatively, one party should make sure the other party signs a voluntary waiver of their right to receive this type of financial disclosure.
Contact Our Hillside Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
The best way to make sure your prenuptial agreement will be enforceable should you decide to get divorced is to draft the agreement with the assistance of a knowledgeable family law attorney. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can advise you of all of your rights when creating a prenup, and we will work with you to make sure you fully understand the terms of your agreement and how it will apply in the event of a divorce. Contact our Oak Park prenup lawyer today at 708-449-7404 to arrange a free consultation.