Before marriage, you and your spouse may have discussed entering into a prenuptial agreement. Commonly referred to as a prenup, this written contract between spouses protects certain rights to property and assets if the marriage dissolves. However, there are particular circumstances where a prenuptial agreement could be considered invalid and therefore unenforceable. With your financial interests on the line, it’s important to know what factors may result in the nullification of your agreement.

There are two things that make a prenuptial agreement invalid. One is a technical problem or defect. In terms of the technical defects, prenuptial agreements require a signature block at the end that contains a special notarization, otherwise called an acknowledgment. If those words do not appear at the end of a prenuptial agreement, the court can and will rule it to be a non-valid agreement.

Secondly, a prenup can be set aside or invalidated if one of the defenses against the contract’s validity is present. For example, if somebody holds a gun to your head and forces you to sign a prenup, that's called duress. Other measures that may constitute duress include presenting the prenup the night before the wedding, one person signing under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or alternative pressures. Ultimately, contracts that are executed or signed under duress are invalid.

A prenup can also be set aside on the grounds of unconscionability. Unconscionability means that one person exerts pressure on another to sign an agreement that no reasonable person would agree to. For instance, if the fiancé induces his soon-to-be wife to give up all rights she would ever have to the custody of their children or any of the assets accumulated during the marriage a court would be entitled to set prenup aside on the ground of unconscionability.

Before making a prenup, it is essential to consult with an attorney to discuss your rights and options. If you have questions or want to discuss strategies to help you achieve the outcome right for you, let’s talk. It’s easy to set up a consultation. You can reach us at 475-232-4105 or