Many strong marriages begin with a well-crafted prenuptial agreement. This gives each spouse a sense of security in case of divorce, and protects the marriage from pressures that can arise out of shared debts or other liabilities. However, if a marriage dissolves, a poorly constructed prenuptial agreement can cause more problems than it prevents.
When a couple signs a prenuptial agreement, they usually have each other's interests in mind, or at least view each other more favorably than they do when divorce is on the table. By the time that divorce becomes a possibility or likelihood, each party may disagree strongly with the terms of the agreement and may challenge it.
If you have concerns about your prenuptial agreement, it is wise to examine it through the eyes of the law. If you don't have a clear understanding of its strengths and weaknesses, dealing with a prenuptial agreement challenge may prolong your divorce and push the price tag up.
Are the terms of the agreement fair and legal?
Realistically, a prenuptial agreement is not valid just because both parties signed it. Even if you had your agreement drafted by a qualified legal professional, if your spouse did not read each portion and understand it, or if they claim that they signed the agreement under duress, a court may not uphold it.
Similarly, if the agreement contains terms that outline division of assets or privileges illegally, a court will throw the agreement out, taking you back to square one.
A prenuptial agreement that one spouse believes is grossly unfair or that overreaches the law is vulnerable in the courts. You must examine the specifics of your agreement before you try to enforce it, in order to anticipate where you might encounter resistance.
If you suspect that your spouse may challenge your prenuptial agreement, you may want to focus on keeping the portions of the agreement that do stand up to scrutiny intact. In most cases, keeping some of the agreement's terms is better than tossing the agreement entirely.
Protecting your rights and priorities is crucial
Whether your spouse chooses to challenge your prenuptial agreement, you must create a strong legal strategy for your divorce. Don't hesitate to use all the legal tools and guidance at your disposal to protect your rights, both now and in the future.