Can an unfair prenuptial agreement be invalidated?

A prenuptial agreement focuses primarily on financial issues. For example, the contract may define each spouse's separate assets and clarify existing estate planning instruments. Similarly, individual debts can also be expressly excluded from the marital estate.  

Yet a prenuptial agreement, even if executed, is not necessarily infallible. There are circumstances where a court might determine a prenuptial agreement to be invalid. As in contract law, certain general principles apply. For starters, this type of contract must be in writing and signed by both parties. It should have also been entered into knowingly and by each spouse's free will. If executed under duress or without time for careful reading and review, a court might not uphold the agreement in the event of a divorce. 

A prenuptial agreement also requires honest disclosures. If it contains false or incomplete information, a court may deem it invalid. Similarly, a prenuptial agreement cannot usurp applicable law, such as child custody obligations. Finally, a contract that is grossly unfair on its face will draw close scrutiny from a court. An arrangement that subjects one spouse to severe financial hardship could likely be invalidated. Our family law firm advises clients considering a prenuptial agreement to obtain separate counsel. 

There are also asset preservation strategies related to prenuptial agreements that a couple might consider before marriage. In the interest of protecting business assets, an individual may wish to create an LLC or other type of corporate entity that can lawfully hold assets on its own, separate and apart from the marital estate.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," copyright 2016, Thomson Reuters

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Get The Help You Deserve

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

Law Office of Todd K. Bolus, PLLC
600 West Main Street
Suite 500
Louisville, KY 40202

Toll Free: 800-821-4049
Phone: 502-438-9526
Fax: 502-882-5185
Map & Directions