Prenuptial agreements can offer some important protections for both people in a couple while defining certain aspects of their financial obligations in (or after) a marriage. Just because a couple signs a prenup, however, does not necessarily mean that the agreement will hold up later in court during a divorce, especially if one of the following issues is in play.
Prenups Can Be Invalidated by…
- Failing to execute them – For prenups to be valid (like other contracts), the parties to the agreement have to sign (authorize) them prior to the marriage in order for them to hold up later. If one party failed to sign the agreement, it will not be binding to that party in the future.
- Lying or providing false information – Another essential facet of valid prenups is that they contain accurate, truthful information about the matters to which they pertain. For instance, if prenups are going to be dealing with specific financial responsibilities, the information they contain regarding each parties’ income, assets, and possible debts/liabilities must be accurate (i.e., must not be falsely represented in the agreement), otherwise the prenup could be invalidated later.
- Including illegal provisions – There are specific things that prenups cannot cover or dictate, such as future child support obligations (as the courts generally see child support as a responsibility of both parents, precluding it from being manipulated by a prenup). When illegal or invalid provisions are included in prenups, either the invalid provision or the entire agreement can be struck down by the court in the future.
- Including unconscionable provisions – “Unconscionable provisions” refers to any term of a prenup that is considered to be extremely unreasonable and, consequently, puts one party at a remarkable disadvantage (usually to the benefit of the other party). As with illegal prenup provisions, unconscionable ones can be invalidated by the court; they can also lead to entire prenups being invalidated.
- Coercion – If a prenup was signed under some threat of force or any type of coercion, they will, again, be considered to be invalid. This is because prenups must be entered into voluntarily by parties who understand and accept the terms of these agreements.
Contact a Scottsdale Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau
When you need help developing, disputing or upholding a prenup – or resolving any family law matter you are dealing with, you can rely on Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity, and other issues.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-467-3435 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.
From her offices based in Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.