What to know if you want to contest your prenup
Prenuptial agreements can provide valuable protection and guidance if spouses divorce. However, there are situations in which one or both parties would rather set that contract aside and proceed without the terms established in it.
Contesting a prenuptial agreement can be challenging, but that does not mean it is impossible.
Grounds to contest a prenup
Disputing a prenuptial agreement requires parties to challenge the validity and enforceability of the contract. To do this, someone will need to successfully argue that a prenup fails to meet the legal requirements.
Grounds on which parties might contest a prenup include proving:
- Parties did not have independent legal counsel when signing
- Someone forced, tricked or coerced another person into signing
- There was a failure to disclose financial details
- The agreement is extremely unfair to one party
- Parties did not sign the contract before their wedding
- There are illegal clauses in the contract
- One person makes false promises
- Parties filed the paperwork improperly
These components can render a legal contract invalid, and the courts could decide against enforcing all or parts of it.
Note that it generally will not be sufficient to argue that you just do not like the terms of your prenup or that you regret the terms you originally agreed to.
Alternatives to contesting the agreement
If it is unlikely that the courts will cancel prenup, it is important not to lose hope. You can still work through solutions to help you pursue a fair divorce.
You may be able to negotiate a postnuptial agreement that would trump the prenuptial agreement. This option could work when both spouses agree that the prenup is no longer appropriate.
Another option is to work with your attorneys to pursue creative solutions that fulfill the terms of a prenup but in ways that make it easier for both parties to get what they want. For instance, if your agreement has terms set for spousal support that you feel are unfair, you might be able to adjust property division to balance the scales.
Finding the right solution for you
Whether you successfully contest your prenup or pursue alternatives, know that there are options to help you find the right solution for your needs. It is not a one-size-fits-all process, and you should have a settlement that you can be satisfied with.