When a Premarital Agreement May Be Invalid in a Divorce
Premarital agreements have become commonplace among engaged couples. Even if you do not have a significant amount of income or assets, it can help to clear the area regarding finances and expectations regarding lifestyle during your marriage. However, there is no avoiding that one of the primary purposes of premarital agreements is to protect each party in the event of a divorce. At the same time, it must meet certain requirements. If it does not, the judge in your case may declare it invalid.
Common Reasons for Getting a Premarital Agreement
Money is one of the most common reasons why couples fight. Business Insider reports that disagreements and disputes over finances are also a leading cause of divorce. Entering a premarital agreement can help to prevent this from happening. While it is often mistaken for being a sign of a lack of faith in your partner or in your relationship, the fact is it can actually make your marriage stronger. Important tasks a premarital agreement can accomplish.
- Provides transparency by requiring each party to disclose all assets and debts;
- Encourages open discussion about financial matters and attitudes for money;
- Allows couples to get on the same page in terms of the type of lifestyle they will live and financial goals for their marriage;
- Addresses basic estate planning issues, such as rights to property and the creation of a will.
When a Premarital Agreement May Be Declared Invalid
While a premarital agreement offers many benefits to engaged couples, one of the primary goals is to protect you in the event your marriage ends in divorce. As a type of legal contract, premarital agreements are required to conform with certain rules under the Virginia Code. If it fails to do so, it can be declared invalid in your divorce proceedings, meaning that any pre-agreed upon terms will not apply. Common reasons that this can happen include:
- You were coerced into signing: You must have entered into your premarital agreement under your own free will. If your spouse or other parties attempted to force you to sign it in any way, such as threatening to cancel your wedding or having you sign while under the influence, it will not hold up in court.
- It unduly favors one party over the other: Premarital agreements must be fair and reasonable. If it allows your spouse to retain ownership of everything while leaving you out in the cold, you likely have grounds to contest it.
- It failed to disclose all assets your partner owned: One of the rules in making a premarital agreement is that each party disclose all of their assets. Failing to do so if a common reason to declare a premarital agreement invalid.
- It contains provisions that are not permitted: A premarital agreement cannot limit your rights to child custody or support in a divorce.
Let Us Help You Today
In cases where a premarital agreement violates your rights, get the law office of Schwartz Kalina, PLLC. on your side. To request a consultation, call or contact our Leesburg divorce lawyers online today.