Prenuptial agreement. Antenuptial agreement. Premarital Agreement. All documents that may one day may require enforcement. Of course, this generally doesn’t happen unless divorce is contemplated. For certain, the agreements are then pulled out for review.
And, then it begins.
Can language that is placed in a prenuptial agreement ever be ignored? Or, are the parties bound by the original document? You might be surprised at the answers.
How Enforceability Works with Prenuptial Agreements
We’ve spoken about the value of prenuptial agreements. They are not solely intended to act as protection for just the rich and famous. They may be effective for anyone who enters a marriage with property and assets. They may be important for those who have children from other relationships.
Celebrities are well known for their trials with prenuptial agreements. You might want to read about some of them. Our favorite is the story of Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving. It appears their handwritten note on a napkin didn’t quite count as a valid prenuptial agreement.
To determine if you are a candidate for an agreement to protect your assets before marriage, your best bet is to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Resist the temptation to procrastinate about your own security.
So, what if you’ve taken the steps to enter into a premarital agreement and your marriage doesn’t work out? Do you just whip out the agreement and incorporate it into your settlement agreement with the ex?
Maybe. Or, maybe not.
There are some important considerations concerning the initial agreement. The law concerning the enforcement of premarital and pre-civil union agreements spells out the necessary elements for putting such an agreement in place. Here are some important questions reflective of the concerns:
- Was there any fraud involved in putting together the agreement?
- Was one party under duress to sign the paperwork? Was it executed voluntarily?
- Did the two individuals provide each other with sufficient documentation concerning assets, earnings and financial obligations?
- Were the terms of the agreement reprehensible?
- Was either or both of the parties represented by counsel?
At the Law Offices of Sam Stoia, we have experience in writing prenuptial agreements. We also understand the challenges of enforcing them. We have worked on both sides of the equation. Contact us for an appointment to see how we can assist you regarding enforcing or nullifying your prenuptial agreement.