Prenuptial agreements provide stability and certainty to married couples who decide to divorce but only if the prenuptial agreement was executed correctly when it was created. Couples who go through the procedure, sometimes difficult, when making decisions that are included in prenuptial agreements, the hiring of lawyers and the execution of legal documents, must ensure that prenuptial agreements must be valid, if they arrive To need them.
A prenuptial agreement will be declared unenforceable by a court if any of the following problems occur:
- The prenuptial agreement was not correctly executed when it was created. In most states, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Some states require that signatures be notarized. Any modification to a prenuptial agreement must be executed in the same way.
- The prenuptial agreement was not executed voluntarily. A prenuptial agreement, like any other kind of contract, must be executed voluntarily. This means that both parties must sign the contract of their own free will, without any coercion. Each party, too, must be represented by an independent director if they wish.
- The prenuptial agreement is excessive. In other words, the agreement cannot be openly unfair. Each State has its own law for these cases, or common law, which defines what is excessive. The agreement should not be unfair to one of the parties or raise public awareness. You cannot force any spouse to do something illegal in exchange for money or give financial incentives to the divorcing parties.
- One or both parties do not fully and fairly disclose the relevant information to the other spouse prior to the execution of the prenuptial agreement. Each party is entitled to the full and accurate description of the financial assets and responsibilities of the other party. It would not be fair, for example, for a spouse to conceal a million dollar trust or expensive vacation property and then claim that the other spouse is not entitled to the benefit of these assets due to the terms of the prenuptial agreement that was executed. when the other spouse had no knowledge of such assets.
Additionally, particular sections of a prenuptial agreement may be declared invalid by the court. For example:
- Custody and child support agreements are usually not allowed in prenuptial agreements. Agreements on child custody and support must be made with the best interest of the children in mind and not predetermined at the time they were needed. Any section about child custody and support that is included in a prenuptial agreement will probably not be considered and will be considered unenforceable by a court assuming the children are from both spouses.
- Agreements about spousal support are typically allowed in prenuptial agreements. However, many courts dismiss this part concerning the maintenance of the spouse in a prenuptial agreement if the execution of such provision would make a spouse eligible for public assistance or if the provision is excessive at the time of execution.
Prenuptial agreements are important legal contracts that provide certainty to both spouses at the time of divorce or to the surviving spouse at the time of death. However, in order for the agreements to be executed they must not have any of the aforementioned problems.
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