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3 reasons a prenuptial agreement may be invalid

When you sign a pre- or postnuptial agreement, you assume that it will protect you and your spouse from the hassle of litigation if you were to ever separate. Many people are finding that this is not true, though, and are facing the reality of a contested prenup. There are a few reasons this may happen, and you should be aware of the potential complications that can stem from such an agreement.

Though it is rare for a prenup to be ruled invalid, it is not unheard of. Because the agreements typically outline the procedure for property division, you might be invested in challenging the validity in your own prenup when financial circumstances have shifted over the course of your marriage.

Misrepresentation of assets

Like any contract, a prenuptial agreement is only valid so long as all parties involved are completely forthright and truthful. If there is a misrepresentation of the assets specified in the agreement, or if there are any undisclosed assets, it may be grounds to have a court nullify the agreement. You need to prove, however, that the discrepancy was an intentional misrepresentation.

Undue influence or coercion

Sometimes, a spouse pressures the other into agreeing to terms that are clearly unfavorable. Though this may be difficult to prove, it may be symptomatic of an abusive relationship. If explicit or implicit threats preceded the signing of a prenuptial agreement, this constitutes coercion, and a judge may therefore rule the agreement invalid if it is challenged. 

Significant shift in circumstances

Changes in financial standing are not the only changes that may motivate a challenge to a prenup. According to CNN, in one case, development of mental illness motivated a court to award alimony even though the prenup prohibited it. It is worth it to explore options and consider challenging a pre- or postnuptial agreement if it is unfair or otherwise invalid.

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