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How long do prenuptial agreements remain in effect?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2020 | Divorce, Firm News |

Signing a prenuptial agreement may not feel like the most romantic activity to do before your marriage, but it can be the right choice for many couples. It can help future spouses get on the same page about their present and future. If the marriage ultimately ends in divorce, a premarital agreement can even protect the spouses from making unreasonable decisions out of anger.

However, prenuptial agreements aren’t always fair. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, you may be thinking about your prenup and wondering if it is even enforceable.

How long are prenups enforceable?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that future spouses enter before marriage. It can be used to determine the rights and responsibilities each person will have during the marriage and how property will be divided if the marriage ultimately doesn’t work out.

A valid prenuptial agreement can remain in effect indefinitely, which is why courts generally presume prenups to be enforceable. However, there are a few circumstances when it may be reasonable for you or your spouse to challenge the validity of your agreement.

When can you challenge a prenup?

The most common reasons for challenging a prenuptial agreement usually boil down to the agreement being unfair. This might be the case if you and your spouse were not represented by separate attorneys when entering into your agreement. You need your own attorney to advise you, make sure you understand the agreement and ensure the agreement is fair to you. If you or your spouse didn’t have the proper legal representation before signing the prenup, a court may not consider the contract valid.

Another way a prenuptial agreement may be unfair is if it is fraudulent. This may be the case if one or both spouses did not honestly disclose all their assets before the contract was signed. Dishonestly like this may result in the contract being invalidated.

Prenups that are signed due to coercion or under duress may also be invalidated. This means that it may not be enforceable if your spouse pressured you into signing it or did not give you an adequate amount of time to consider if you want to sign it or not.

Sometimes, extremely unbalanced provisions to the agreement are even enough for a court to consider it invalid. For example, an agreement that would leave one spouse destitute while allowing the other spouse to prosper.

Prenuptial agreements can be very unique, just as every marriage is unique. While most prenuptial agreements are valid and enforceable, there can be a variety of situations when it is reasonable for a spouse to question the validity of their contract.