New York, NY- In this day and age, it isn’t uncommon for people who are planning to get married to first sign a pre-nuptial agreement, especially if they are well-off. These agreements allow the couple to determine ahead of time what each spouse would receive in alimony or child support, if any, along with how they will divide community assets, but during the course of a marriage an individual’s circumstances can change, so people often wonder; can their pre-nuptial agreement be challenged?
The answer is Yes, but it isn’t easy and a divorce attorney must prove there are valid reasons to break that agreement.
If a pre-nuptial is considered unconscionable, meaning that is grossly unfair to one of the divorcing parties. Unconscionable prenuptials are when one party waives their right to child support or alimony. A court can consider it unconscionable to refuse to pay child support and therefore declare the agreement void.
Another way to have this type of agreement overturned is to challenge it on the grounds of coercion. Pre-nuptial contracts must be voluntary, and proving that it was not is no small task, but possible. For example, if one party refuses to marry person until they have signed an agreement, but the all the arrangements for the wedding have been made and the deposits have been paid. A person in this position may feel forced to sign the agreement.
Lack of disclosure is another valid argument for throwing out a pre-nuptial. If one of the divorcing parties fails to disclose some of their assets or financial obligations at the time of signing, a judge may decide to invalidate the agreement. Without full disclosure, a person is technically signing an agreement without being aware of all of the facts.
There are other reasons to challenge a pre-nuptial such as infidelity, but the parties pursuing this course should be ready for a fight.