If you have a prenuptial agreement and you are planning to get divorced, the odds are high that you’re counting on that agreement. You may have used it to protect your wealth or your business, for instance, and you assume it is going to do so.
Your prenup may, in fact, do as you expect — but there is no guarantee. Many people find that they actually have an invalid prenup when they try to use it. Everything they planned in advance gets tossed out and they have to head to divorce court to sort out a settlement with their spouses.
Major reasons for invalid agreements
To keep this from happening to you, it’s important to understand the major reasons for invalid prenups. They include:
- You included provisions that are, in and of themselves, illegal. This can sometimes cause the entire document to get tossed out.
- You put pressure on your spouse to sign the agreement. They felt like they had to sign, maybe due to social or financial reasons.
- You showed your new spouse the prenup right before the wedding. They did not have time to really consider its terms before they signed.
- You lied when getting your spouse to sign. Maybe the prenuptial agreement overreported your wealth, for instance, or exaggerated your assets.
- You did not write the prenuptial agreement down and follow all of the proper steps to file it. You should never count on a verbal agreement or anything of this sort.
Now, you may have made these mistakes by accident and without any intent. That doesn’t mean they won’t derail the divorce process. You must understand exactly what steps to take when things start to get complicated. An attorney can help you learn more.