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Why can a premarital agreement be ruled invalid by the court?

It wasn't so long ago that prenuptial agreements were only really thought of for couples who had tremendous wealth or at least one spouse did. Today, however, prenups are becoming more common among couples of ordinary means.

A prenup helps establish your financial rights should a divorce occur. It can also help protect your personal assets or a family business. If the prenup is not complete properly, though, it could be ruled invalid by the court and all of your hard work would have been for nothing. Here some of the most common reasons why prenups are ruled invalid:

-- One spouse was not given enough time to review the prenup: If you were handed the prenup right before walking down the aisle to sigh, the agreement will probably not stand up in court. You need sufficient time to read it, review it, have it looked over by your attorney and propose any changes you feel are necessary before you sign or don't sign it.

-- One spouse was pressured to sign it: If you were pressured by your spouse, his or her family, his or her lawyer or anyone else to sign the prenup, it may not be valid.

-- If it contained invalid provisions: If the prenup contains clauses about child support, the prenup could be considered invalid. In addition, if there are clauses that violate the law, it could also be invalid. In some cases, though, the court could simply invalidate those clauses and allow the rest of the prenup to remain enforceable.

There are several other reasons why a prenup may be ruled invalid. It is in your best interest to have your own attorney review the document before signing it. If your circumstances change significantly during your marriage, you can revisit your prenup and make changes to it with your spouse's agreement and your lawyer's approval.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," accessed July 25, 2016

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