Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Scenarios in which a prenuptial agreement might not be valid

As you prepare to enter a marriage, you may wish to explore every available option to reduce the chances of conflict within your relationship. Since finances can be a common topic of debate in marriages, you and your soon-to-be spouse may wish to take steps to prevent future arguments.

One tool that could give you peace of mind and protect the financial rights of you and your spouse is a prenuptial agreement. If properly signed and executed, these agreements could be ironclad, but there are some circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement might not be enforceable.

Areas to consider when executing a prenuptial agreement

While you might not plan to dissolve your marriage, circumstances can change, and you may reach a point in life where divorce is the healthiest option. Any unexpected occurrences may only add to the stress of a divorce, and some scenarios in which a court might deem your prenuptial agreement invalid may include:

  • Execution and signing: To be enforceable, your prenuptial agreement must be in written form and both you and your significant other must sign it prior to entering the marriage.
  • Presence of pressure: You must sign a prenuptial agreement of your own volition, and if either party pressures the other into signing the document, the court may choose not to enforce the agreement during legal proceedings.
  • Inadequate time: Prior to signing a prenuptial agreement, you must have ample time to review the arrangement and gain an understanding of the terms within, or it might become invalid.
  • Document is incomplete: When negotiating a prenuptial agreement, due diligence is key, and if any information in the document is false, or if the information is incomplete, the agreement might not be enforceable.

In some cases, a prenuptial agreement could be invalid if either you or your spouse didn't have access to legal representation before applying your signature. To ensure the proper execution of a prenuptial agreement, it could be in your best interests to seek assistance from someone with experience in the area.

Assistance in the process

A prenuptial agreement can provide you with a sense of security and may even reduce the chances that a difference of financial opinion will disrupt your marriage. However, executing such an agreement can be a complex process, and you might benefit from speaking to someone with intricate knowledge in New York state laws concerning your situation. By obtaining guidance, you may also obtain peace of mind that your financial future will remain intact regardless of what it may bring.

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