What is a Prenuptial Agreement and Can it be Challenged?
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular than ever. Millennials seem to be adopting a pragmatic approach towards marriage and in a survey among lawyers, the vast majority saw an increase in the number of prenup drafting requests.
Wealth is a driving factor for getting a prenup but it’s not the only issue that the agreement addresses. A prenuptial agreement can feature asset division arrangements, reproductive rights, debt protection, business separation and responsibilities, etc.
A prenup is signed by two consenting individuals about to get married but what happens if one of the parties eventually decides to disagree with the terms and conditions? Can a prenup be contested?
Modifying a Prenup during the Marriage
If you feel like the prenup you signed isn’t in your best interest, you can get it modified with a postnuptial agreement.
As the name suggests, a postnuptial agreement is signed after the couple gets married.
A postnup is a good choice for people who didn’t sign a prenup and for those who seek to modify the original agreement.
A prenup is very easy to modify. One of the parties will have to prepare a written agreement that’s signed by both them and their spouse. If these conditions are met, the postnup becomes valid and it replaces the arrangement outlined in the prenuptial agreement.
Contesting a Prenuptial Agreement
For a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid, several conditions will have to be met:
- The agreement is in writing
- It is signed by both parties voluntarily
- The two partners sign the agreement after an appropriate asset, property and financial status disclosure has been made
Thus, a person being forced to sign a prenuptial agreement is not doing so voluntarily and willingly. They could challenge the terms of the prenup in court but proving the pressure to sign the document can be difficult.
The same applies to a prenuptial agreement that was signed before a complete disclosure about one’s financial standing was made. A partner will be misled into believing something that’s not true, which eliminates one of the conditions required for the prenup to be considered valid in Arizona.
If you’re just unhappy with asset division during a divorce that stems from the prenuptial agreement conditions, you will not get to challenge the document. A prenup is a legally-binding document that you signed willingly. Hence, you will have to honor the arrangements listed in it, even if these are not in your best interest.
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When Can a Prenup Be Legally Dismissed?
In most cases, a prenup signed by both individuals will stand in court. There’s only one exception.
Incredibly lopsided provisions could make an Arizona judge question the ability of one partner to understand the implications of the prenup.
A judge could question a prenuptial agreement that is incredibly one-directional, unbalanced or even unfair to one of the partners. The terms, however, will have to be so unfair that one of the parties will be left with nothing after the finalization of the divorce.
It’s easy to see that such extreme documents are a rarity. Even if a prenup is somewhat unfair, it will still maintain its legal validity and it will guide the manner in which marital assets are being divided.
If you want to overturn a prenuptial agreement before or during divorce proceedings, you will need to get in touch with a very experienced Arizona divorce lawyer. Usually, such documents are already drafted by knowledgeable legal professionals and in most instances, they will be bulletproof.
Keep in mind that the fact you didn’t consult a lawyer when signing the prenup is not sufficient to have it overturned or legally dismissed. Your divorce attorney will shed more light on the possibilities and whether you have any option at all to ensure more fair marriage dissolution conditions.