If you have a prenuptial agreement, odds are that you’re counting on it in the event of a divorce. You know what that agreement says and what rights it gives you. You fully expect the court to honor it and hand you the financial assets that are listed as yours in the prenup.
What you need to understand is that there is a chance that the court could throw out your prenup. Even if you have one, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to honor it. Let’s look at a few reasons why this may happen.
Your spouse was under duress
A prenup always has to be signed due to someone’s free will. They cannot be coerced or manipulated. They can’t be put under duress, which means there’s extra pressure to sign. It has to be something that they really want to do, or the court can decide that it shouldn’t stand even though they signed it.
They didn’t have time to consider it
Another issue that sometimes comes up is when someone asks for a prenuptial agreement right before their wedding. There might technically be enough time left to file the document, but it may mean that your spouse never really had time to consider what they were signing. In some cases, people claim they never even read the prenup to begin with.
Additionally, asking for a prenup too close to the wedding day can be seen as a form of duress. This is especially true if the other person or their family has already heavily invested in the wedding, financially speaking.
Your spouse wasn’t mentally capable of signing
This is less common, but it is possible. Someone who signed a prenuptial agreement while they were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, for instance, may claim that they lacked the mental capability to make that decision at the time. If this can be shown, then the court may decide that they shouldn’t be bound by that signature.
These are just a few things to consider, but you can see why it’s so important to know about all of your legal options as you get divorced – even if you already have a prenup.