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When is a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Unenforceable?

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Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be a great way to establish property interests and clarify a number of issues well before a couple decides to divorce. These contracts can be entered into before or after a wedding, and unlike the stereotypes of these agreements in the media they are meant to benefit both parties involved in the marriage. However, sometimes the terms or circumstances of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement are so extreme, fraudulent, or dubious that the court may declare the contract unenforceable and throw it out. For more information on when a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be considered unenforceable, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton today.

Coercion or Duress

One of the most obvious reasons why these types of contracts might be deemed unenforceable is if one party signed while under coercion or duress. This means that one spouse signed the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement because of the use of force or threats of harm to themselves or their loved ones. But for this pressure, the person would have not signed the agreement papers. If proven, this renders the entire prenuptial or postnuptial agreement void.

Procedural Issues

Another reason why a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be deemed unenforceable is because of procedural issues. One of the most common examples of this is when the contract itself lacks legality, such as trying to create an oral contract of these issues instead of a written contract. If one spouse lacks the language skills or cannot read, it may also raise procedural issues significant enough to render the contract unconscionable. Finally, if one spouse does not allow the other to review the agreement with their own attorney it can be tossed out in its entirety.

Hiding Assets or Knowledge

If one spouse is hiding assets or knowledge from the other spouse at the time of signing, an agreement can be thrown out. This typically occurs if one spouse has significantly more wealth than the other and is trying to protect additional assets by excluding them from the property interest agreements in the prenuptial or postnuptial contract. The judge might throw out the entire contract or award any hidden assets to the spouse that was harmed.

Goes Against Public Policy

Finally, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be deemed unenforceable if it contains provisions that go against public policy. The most common example of this is a requirement of stereotypical spousal duties, such as requiring the spouse to clean, cook, or consummate the marriage so many times per month. A judge can either strike the provisions that include terms that go against public policy or declare the entire agreement void. 

Call or Contact Us Today

For help determining whether your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be considered enforceable, call or contact a Boca Raton prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorney at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today.

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