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How to help ensure a prenuptial agreement remains enforceable

Of all the things that an engaged couple has to get done prior to their big day -- from cake tasting and venue selection to dress shopping and invitations -- taking the time to visit with an attorney about the possibility of executing a prenuptial agreement probably ranks fairly low on the to-do list.

While this is certainly understandable given the decidedly unromantic nature of this venture, it's imperative for them not to overlook some of the very real advantages that accompany the execution of a prenuptial agreement.

Indeed, a couple who takes the time to execute this legally binding document will essentially solidify their respective expectations concerning issues like alimony and property division ahead of time, something that will save them time, money and unnecessary emotional trauma in the event of a split.

As valuable as a prenuptial agreement can prove to be, it's imperative for couples to understand that unless they are executed properly, they will be considered invalid and all of these aforementioned advantages will be lost.

What then are the general circumstances in which a court will invalidate a prenuptial agreement?

  • No agreement in writing: It may seem obvious, but all prenuptial agreements must be in writing in order to be considered valid.
  • Undue pressure: In the event the spouse or their attorney places an undue amount of pressure on the fiancé to sign the prenuptial agreement, it may be considered invalid.
  • Improper execution: If both of the soon-to-be spouses fail to sign the prenuptial agreement prior to walking down the aisle, it will be unenforceable.
  • Absence of time to consider: Both spouses must be afforded adequate time to review and consider the terms of the prenuptial agreement, meaning it will likely be considered unenforceable if presented to one spouse just prior to the wedding.
  • Failure to read: If a spouse is not given adequate time to read through the prenuptial agreement, meaning an immediate signature is demanded, the prenuptial agreement will likely be unenforceable.

We'll continue this discussion in a future post …

If you would like to learn more about the possibility of executing a prenuptial agreement, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can explain the law and help you take the necessary actions.