Circumstances can occur where a contract does not hold up under scrutiny, including a prenuptial agreement.
The rules for what invalidates an agreement vary by state, and some states simply allow prenups to follow the same enforceability rules as any other agreement. However, California addresses the issue in its code to specify when a prenup is unenforceable.
Accepting unconscionable terms
Though both parties may understand and agree to the terms of a prenup, the clauses may favor one side so overwhelmingly as to be unfair. The court may strike down such agreements and apply typical property division standards instead.
Using undue pressure or coercion
A common stipulation for any contract is that the parties agree to the arrangement of their own free will. If someone forces one of the parties to sign through emotional manipulation or physical intimidation, the courts will likely view the contract as nonbinding.
Agreeing under false pretenses
A prenup may be null and void if one spouse makes false promises or does not fully disclose pertinent details. This situation can occur when an individual hides assets or liabilities.
Not waiting enough time
The state tries to ensure that parties have sufficient time to review and understand a prenup. The document must exist in its final written form for seven days before the final signing. If a couple makes last-minute adjustments during the week before the wedding, the agreement might not stand, even if both fully understood it.
A prenuptial agreement is a vital document in protecting the financial future of those entering a marriage. Staying alert to avoid any invalidating factors can ensure the contract holds up when necessary.