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How a prenup can be challenged and invalidated

Prenuptial agreements have many stigmas attached to them, and one of them is that the document is ironclad once signed. Many stereotypes in movies reinforce this idea, but this is actually a myth. Prenuptial agreements can be poorly written contracts that don't hold up under the scrutiny of the law, and they can certainly be invalidated -- partially or wholly -- as a result of malfeasance by one of the spouses.

But what, in particular, are we talking about here? Let's look over a few examples of why a prenuptial agreement may be invalidated.

  • One critical reason why a prenup is often validated is due to the fact that the two spouses failed to use their own independent counsel.
  • If you are going to sign a prenup, you should think about it and consider the ramifications of what it means for you. Having ample time to consider the document and understanding its impact is critical, otherwise it could be thrown out upon a legal challenge.
  • The provisions included in the prenup are a big reason why part or all of the contract is invalidated upon a challenge, so make sure that you are compliant with the law in this regard.
  • Last but not least, there is the idea of fairness in a prenup, which is called "conscionability." If a prenup is deemed to favor one spouse over another, then it will be deemed "unconscionable" and it could be tossed out upon review.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," Oct. 27, 2017

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