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Why did a judge throw out my friend’s prenuptial agreement?

| Feb 18, 2018 | Blog |

Some of your friends going through a divorce may have had prenuptial agreements. When a judge throws one out, it can be especially concerning if you have one too. All of a sudden, you are wondering: “Would my agreement hold up? Should I see if I need a postnuptial agreement for changes?”

The best way to find out is to have a lawyer review your agreement to see if there are weaknesses. That said, here are a few areas that may concern a judge.

Lack of independent counsel

If you and/or your spouse lacked a lawyer to counsel you on the agreement, then it could be in jeopardy if you divorce. The same holds true if the same lawyer represented both of you. This is because your lawyer should be advocating for your best interests and cannot do so if he or she is also representing a competing party with competing interests.

Timeline

The date that you signed the prenuptial agreement may also be problematic. For example, if the date of signing was the day before the wedding, then you or your spouse may have felt pressured into signing it. After all, the alternative, postponing the wedding, is not appealing, especially when guests might have flown in from out of town and a lot of money has been spent on the upcoming wedding.

A date extremely close to the wedding can also signal that one party sprung the agreement on the other as a “surprise.” Both spouses should enter prenuptial agreements freely and without pressure.

Going against public policy

Public policy these days calls for both parents to be involved in their children’s lives as much as possible and for both spouses to be able to live decently on their own. Thus, an agreement that says one spouse would never have to pay the other child support or that leaves one spouse practically homeless and in poverty probably would not hold up in court.

 

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