People negotiate and sign prenuptial agreements because they want to protect themselves and avoid a potentially messy divorce. Unfortunately, sometimes prenuptial agreements can make divorce proceedings more litigious than they would otherwise be.
If one spouse wants to convince the court to throw the document out while the other one wants to uphold it, the spouses may wind up litigating the validity of their marital agreement. What are some of the reasons a court may decide a prenuptial agreement is invalid?
When it only benefits one spouse
One of the more common reasons that a prenuptial agreement might be tossed out is that it is deemed unconscionable. Unconscionable agreements only benefit one party and do not offer something of valuable consideration to the other parties to the agreement. If only one spouse received benefits and protections in the prenup, the court may not uphold it.
When one spouse didn’t understand the agreement
Another common reason that the court might refuse to uphold prenuptial agreements is that one spouse can reasonably claim that they did not understand the implications of the agreement. Having both spouses review the document with their own attorney before signing is one way to prevent such challenges.
When they claim to have signed under duress
If someone faced a threat or intense pressure from a partner who coerced them into signing a document that they did not want to sign, they could later convince the court to toss out the agreement because they did not sign it of their own volition.
Understanding what might invalidate a prenuptial agreement can help you avoid those complications when you initially draft the document with your spouse.