While the benefits of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are immense when it comes to property division and debt distribution during a divorce, the document is of no value if it is not legally enforceable. Like all contracts, certain legalities must be completed so that such agreements can withstand challenges in court. Otherwise, it can be thrown out of court and New York property division rules may be applied.
The most important requirement of a prenuptial agreement to be valid is that it must be in writing. If it is not in writing, it may not be enforceable. In addition to this, it must be signed by both parties and, in the case of a prenuptial agreement, it must be executed before the wedding date in order to be deemed valid. The document must also be signed without any pressure applied to either party. That is to say that the agreement must be entered into voluntarily.
Both parties should have time to review the prenuptial agreement and consider its provisions before signing off on it. If it is handed to someone to sign minutes before walking down the aisle, it is most likely to be considered unenforceable. In addition to giving someone ample time to view the document, it is also legally required that both parties read the document. That is, a signature should not be procured without the other person realizing what they are signing.
There are certain provisions that should not be included in a prenuptial agreement, such as child support. Illegal provisions will invalidate a prenuptial agreement, as will the provision of false information to get a signature. Additionally, the document should not be so grossly unfair to one party that they would face severe hardship while the other would prosper under its terms. To ensure one's prenuptial agreement is valid and fair, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney for guidance.