As hard as it could be for some couples to agree on getting a
prenup, it will be all the more difficult down the road to find that your prenuptial
agreement was never valid in the first place. When Steven Spielberg divorced
Amy Irving, their prenup was on a napkin, so obviously, neither of them
had a lawyer when they wrote it up either. This prenuptial agreement was
invalidated, and this meant that Spielberg had to pay $100 million to
his former spouse.
While this is an extreme case, a botched prenuptial agreement can come
back to bite you too. Here are some of the typical errors committed when
creating a prenuptial agreement, so you can save yourself from making them:
- One of the main requirements of a prenup is that both fiancés each
have their own attorney. Then their respective lawyers must advise each
person about what the prenup will mean, and make sure that each person
is signing the agreement of their own free choice. Without your own lawyers
helping you with the agreement, you could be asking for a legal nightmare
later, resulting in your prenup being thrown out by a court.
- A second reason that a prenuptial agreement could be invalidated is that
one of the parties was forced into signing off on it, or they were mentally
incapable at the time (such as if they were under the influence of alcohol).
Duress is enough reason for a court to throw out a prenup. And all it
takes is signing a prenup too close to the wedding. If your prenup is
written up within a month of the wedding, your spouse may be able to say
that they were under duress, as evidenced by the time constraint. Avoid
this simple slipup by giving both you and your fiancé time to think;
get this document finished one to three months before your wedding, at
the very latest.
- Of course, there are financial mistakes that can occur too, namely, that
you held back information. A prenup can be invalidated by a court if either
of you fail to give full financial disclosure. This does not just mean
assets and property you own either; debts have to be fully listed as well.
- Then there are prenups that are deemed "unconscionable". While
some bias is allowable in the agreement, in cannot bankrupt the other
spouse entirely. For example, if the agreement means that one party will
be left living off of welfare, then a court will likely amend the prenup,
or overrule it all together, to get that party off of welfare.
While it is not common for a prenup to be invalidated by a court, it does
happen, and all it takes is a simple slipup to throw your finances into
jeopardy. If you are already married and want to create a postnuptial
agreement, then you also need an airtight agreement.
Do not find out too late that you made a preventable mistake. Secure your
future. Work with an experienced family law attorney in Long Island who
can successfully protect your rights.
Contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today.