Can a Prenup Be Invalidated?

If you have been in New York for a while, you may recall a case involving a prenup that made the news back in 2013. What happened is a Brooklyn court invalidated a prenuptial agreement that was signed in 1998 before a Long Island woman married a millionaire. This was a historical event, and we can guarantee that divorce attorneys across the state and the country stood up and took notice.

Since it’s been done before, prenups have been and definitely will be thrown out on occasion, just as wills can be contested in probate courts. In the past, people thought of prenups as insulting or non-romantic, but among the wealthy, they have become so commonplace nowadays that people expect them.

What Prenups Are Designed to Do

Prenups are designed to protect the wealthier spouse’s assets. They formalize an agreement between the spouses as to which assets will be separate property and which assets will be martial property, and therefore, divided in the event of a divorce.

Since one spouse often has significantly more assets than the other, prenups are generally drawn up to prevent the wealthier spouse from losing an unfair proportion of their wealth should the marriage dissolve.

In the past, prenups were very difficult to void, however, that doesn’t mean they’re all ironclad. In some cases, a prenup can be revoked or invalidated. Here are some reasons why that could happen:

  • The prenup is fraudulent because one of the spouses failed to fully disclose their assets.
  • A party was forced to sign the agreement, under duress when they signed it, or they lacked mental capacity at the time of signing.
  • The agreement was not drafted properly and therefore it’s invalid.
  • One party signed the prenup without being represented by their own attorney.
  • The prenup contained ridiculous conditions or provisions.
  • The agreement leaves one spouse virtually penniless.
  • The prenup was executed on the day of the wedding.

Keep the above reasons for invalidating a prenup in mind, whether you’re looking to have one drafted or you want to have yours invalidated by a court. Whatever your intentions are at this point in time, it’s critical that you consult with an experienced attorney who has the expertise to guide you through these uncertain waters.

To learn more about challenging a prenup or drafting an ironclad one, contact the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today.

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