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Can you challenge a premarital agreement?

Property Division Issues

You and your spouse have become different people from the ones you were at your wedding. Your circumstances are different, too, and now that you are facing divorce, perhaps that premarital agreement the two of you signed does not seem like a fair contract.

Although we encourage the use of premarital agreements, we understand that sometimes, challenging the validity of the contract is the best way to move forward. Here are situations that may warrant taking the contract to court.

It leaves one spouse without resources

A judge will not uphold an agreement that leaves one spouse relying on public assistance while the other enjoys a high standard of living.

One spouse lied about or hid assets

Both spouses have to either provide complete information about their financial situations before they sign, or they have to agree that full disclosure is not necessary and sign a waiver to that effect.

One spouse pressured the other to sign

In court, a judge may agree that bringing up the premarital agreement hours before the wedding and threatening to call the whole thing off without a signature qualifies as coercion. Proof that a spouse lied to trick the other into signing would also be grounds to challenge the contract.

The agreement is not a document

In some situations, an oral contract may be valid, but not when it is a premarital agreement. It must be a written contract, or it does not exist.

For more information about premarital and postmarital agreements and how they may affect the property division phase of divorce, please visit our webpage.

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