Prenuptial agreements are legal documents that outline what each spouse is entitled to if a marriage dissolves. Once considered to be antiquated, the prenuptial agreement has slowly grown in popularity as the average age of people marrying for the first time increases. Men and women who get married after establishing careers, purchasing property, or launching businesses want to protect their assets or secure certain things for children they had prior to marriage. While prenuptial agreements are intended to avoid contentious divorce proceedings, there are times when you may feel as though the agreement you signed was not fair. Knowing if and how you can challenge a prenuptial agreement is useful if your marriage ends after you signed the agreement.
When Did You Sign it?
One of the first questions a lawyer or judge will ask you when a prenuptial agreement is being challenged is when was it signed. The closer to the wedding date the agreement was signed, the more likely it is that you will be able to challenge its validity. A person who is signing a prenuptial agreement the day of the wedding is rarely able to receive the legal guidance needed when a major contract is being signed. Though it is difficult to prove, it is possible for a spouse to claim that being presented with the option of calling off a wedding the day before walking down the aisle or signing the prenup robbed them of their chance to consent.
Are There Unfair Provisions?
If your agreement contains provisions that are unfair or completely unreasonable, you may be able to challenge it. A valid prenuptial agreement must be conscionable, meaning that the agreement cannot be lopsided to the point that one party benefits at the extreme expense of the other party. An agreement that requires a spouse to move out of the family home in an unreasonable amount of time after a divorce, has a weight requirement, or states no child support can be awarded could be challenged.
Was Your Spouse Honest?
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must fully disclose their income and assets. However, it is not unusual for one party to lie about the existence of certain assets, or undervalue the assets. This is done in an effort to hide assets so they are not part of any potential divorce settlement. If your spouse has lied about incomes or assets that he or she owned at the time the agreement was signed, it is possible to challenge it because the lack of full disclosure makes the agreement fraudulent.
Contact an Attorney
No divorce is easy, but when a prenuptial agreement is involved, things are often more difficult. A spouse who entered the marriage attempting to protect his or her assets is going to fight to preserve them. Once you feel a divorce is imminent, contacting a prenuptial agreements lawyer to review your agreement is always recommended. Even if you do not plan on challenging the agreement, a skilled lawyer can help to ensure that your spouse gives you the settlement that you agreed on from the beginning. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are ready to review your agreement and help you determine how you should proceed. Contact one of our conveniently located Atlanta area offices today to schedule a private consultation.