There is no such thing as “ironclad” in the family law world. And this includes purportedly “ironclad” prenuptial agreements. With the help of a good Chicago family law attorney, you can potentially overcome and invalidate even the most detailed prenup.
A prenuptial agreement is generally a contract. And like all contracts, the prenuptial agreement needs to meet certain requirements to be valid and enforceable.
Some of the best arguments that can potentially overcome a prenuptial agreement include the following:
- No written agreement. Prenuptial agreements typically need to be in writing to be enforceable. Oral promises can be extremely difficult to prove in court and generally are unreliable.
- Not executed properly. A prenuptial agreement needs to be signed by both parties before the wedding to be valid. In addition, you may have the right to have an attorney review the contract before signing. Without this opportunity, the agreement may not be valid.
- Duress. If you were pressured to sign the agreement, such as being given the agreement minutes before walking down the aisle, a court may find that you did not have the proper mindset to form a legitimate contract.
- Invalid provisions. A prenuptial agreement may address many financial matters; however, there are other areas that may be off limits and unenforceable. For example, an agreement generally cannot modify child support or child custody. In addition, provisions that violate the law would not be enforceable.
- Fraud and false information. The parties entering a prenuptial agreement need to be transparent. If there are false pretenses, fraud, or other misrepresentations to convince one of the parties to sign, the entire agreement may be void. This often includes misrepresentations regarding one party’s personal finances.
If you are going through a divorce and have a question regarding a prenuptial agreement, you may want to discuss your issue with a local family law attorney.
- Prenuptial Agreements (FindLaw)
- How to Avoid Divorce Disasters (FindLaw’s Chicago Family Law Blog)
- What Can Be Protected in a Prenup? (FindLaw’s Chicago Family Law Blog)