Every marriage has its ups and downs. But when the relationship is broken beyond repair, you may have no option but to head to the divorce court. When this happens, one of the issues you will have to address is property division. And this can be a very thorny subject.
This explains why more and more couples are signing prenuptial agreements before tying the knot. Done right, a prenup, as it is commonly known, can save you the headache by separating personal property from marital property during divorce. For a prenup to be recognized and enforced, however, it must be valid.
Here are two instances when the court may decline to enforce a prenuptial agreement:
When it is fraudulent
While drafting the prenup, each party must make a full disclosure of what they own (and owe). Those assets and debts must be accurately valued and declared. If either party deliberately withholds certain information or if they intentionally devalue their assets and debts, the resulting prenup would be deemed fraudulent. Consequently, it will be thrown out by the court.
If you have evidence that your spouse failed to fully disclose their assets, then this can be grounds for disputing and invalidating the prenup.
When the prenup is unconscionable
A prenuptial agreement should never be egregiously one-sided. In other words, a prenup that is extremely unfair or that contains totally ridiculous provisions will not be admissible, even if both parties voluntarily signed it.
For instance, a prenup that defines the frequency of sexual encounters or requires one spouse to maintain a certain physical appearance would be considered unconscionable. Thus, depending on the extent of the unconscionability, the prenup may be invalidated in part or entirety.
A prenuptial agreement can give you peace of mind knowing that what you have worked hard for prior to your marriage does not end up in your ex’s hands in the event of divorce. For your prenup to hold, however, it must be valid.