Matrimonial attorneys will be the first people to stress the importance of a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are extremely beneficial; as they will help you protect your property and finances in the off chance that your marriage ends in divorce. However, if the prenup is drafted or executed incorrectly, a judge may rule that it is invalid and its contents will not hold up in a divorce proceeding.
High net worth divorces can become even more complicated if the couple’s prenuptial agreement has been deemed invalid by the courts. Because the financial stakes are high, it is important to make sure that the prenuptial agreement is drafted and executed properly. For this to happen, it is imperative that both parties are represented by independent legal counsel. This means that each person must retain a different attorney. It’s also why you should contact the New York prenuptial agreement attorneys from Brian D. Perskin & Associates to discuss your situation.
When is A Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
Other reasons why a prenuptial agreement can potentially be deemed invalid include:
A Party Signed Under Duress or Too Soon Before the Wedding
Both parties must be of a clear mind when signing the agreement, and they cannot be pressured or bullied into doing so. Additionally, a prenup can be thrown out by the courts if it is signed too close to the wedding date. It is generally recommended that couples both sign the agreement a few months before they marry. Doing so helps to relieve a lot of the stress involved with planning a wedding and the anxiety of the days immediately preceding the event.
The Prenup Has Questionable Wording or Is Not in Writing
As with any legal document, the language contained within it must be clear and not open to interpretation. The courts require that the prenup must be in writing, and not an oral agreement. A qualified matrimonial attorney will be able to draft a prenuptial agreement that meets court standards. The language used in a New York prenuptial agreement must be clear and fall within the realm of the law. This is too important of a legal document to ignore or attempt to create on your own. An experienced attorney from Brian D. Perskin & Associates can help draft a prenuptial agreement for you.
The Agreement Contains Strange or Unusual Requirements
Usually, prenuptial agreements will outline what is acceptable or expected during a marriage (no adultery, no investing marital funds without consent from the other spouse, etc.), as well as the division of assets if the marriage should end in divorce. However, a trend among the soon-to-be-wed is lifestyle clauses that outline non-typical marriage requirements such as health issues and physical appearances. Judges tend to see these New York prenuptial agreement provisions as not being legally binding, and will often deem them to be invalid.
The Prenup Is Considered to Be “Unconscionable”
A prenuptial agreement is considered unconscionable when it blatantly favors one party over the other. It is not uncommon for an agreement to protect one person slightly more than it does the other, however, it cannot do so to the extent that the agreement is shocking. For instance, courts could rule that the agreement is invalid and unconscionable if it requires one party to be a stay at home parent and not have any of their own income, yet it denies said party from having any spousal support if the marriage dissolves.
The Prenup Was Signed Under False Promises
On some occasions, one spouse will convince their fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement under false promises. Such promises can include: being told they would receive a gift or money in return for agreeing to execute the prenup, or that the agreement would become null and void if a certain event were to happen. An example of the latter can be seen in the Peter and Elizabeth Petrakis divorce. The millionaire promised his bride that their prenuptial agreement would be torn up once their first child was born. This never happened, and a judge ruled that Mrs. Petrakis had signed the agreement under the pretense of fraud, and it was ruled to be invalid. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced New York prenuptial agreement attorney from Brian D. Perskin & Associates when drafting a prenuptial agreement. Doing so will ensure that the document will be deemed valid by the court.
Either Spouse Did Not Fully Disclose Information
Both spouses must always practice full disclosure while participating in a prenuptial agreement. This means that all assets (investment and savings account, expensive jewelry, property) and debts must be included in the prenup. If not, the agreement will be invalidated.
Getting Married in New York? Consider Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement
Deciding to sign a prenup before marriage is smart and responsible, and should be handled delicately. A skilled matrimonial attorney will have the knowledge required to write an iron-clad and legally binding agreement that meets the court’s standards. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates has many prenup clients and has the experience and expertise to draft a favorable New York prenuptial agreement on their behalf. For more information, contact the friendly staff at 877-826-7257 to schedule your consultation today!