Signing a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle is a good idea for many reasons. Still, what made sense at the beginning of your marriage may seem grossly inappropriate in the lead-up to a divorce. If you are facing a potential divorce, you may want to get figure out how to nullify this premarital contract.
Dissatisfaction with the terms is likely insufficient to render the document invalid, but you may have some options for invalidating yours. While marrying couples typically enjoy wide latitude to negotiate and draft prenups, there are some reasons your prenuptial agreement may be voidable. To be legally valid in California, prenuptial agreements must meet certain criteria.
- You executed the agreement under duress
Like all contracts, prenuptial agreements require each party to exercise his or her free will. As such, if your spouse threatened to harm you unless you signed the agreement, the prenup is probably not enforceable.
- Your partner was dishonest
Before signing your prenup, you should have had access to all available information. Therefore, if your partner hid assets or falsified material information, you likely have a good case for invalidating the agreement.
- The agreement is unconscionably unfair
Usually, judges defer to the bargains that parties to contracts make. Nonetheless, if your agreement is unconscionably unfair, a judge may find it to be unenforceable. That is, if the agreement overwhelmingly benefits one person to the detriment of the other, it may not be valid.
- The agreement contains forbidden provisions
Some prenup provisions violate state law. For example, your agreement may say that your soon-to-be ex-spouse does not have to pay child support. If your agreement contains such a provision, you may be able to convince a judge to invalidate the whole contract.
If you are heading for divorce and are unhappy with what your prenup says, you should explore whether your agreement runs afoul of basic tenets of contract law before you file.