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What could invalidate a prenuptial agreement?

Once a Virginia couple gets engaged, wedding planning often begins in earnest. As part of the preparation for the nuptials, one or both of the parties may decide that a prenuptial agreement would be a good idea, especially since they have gained popularity in recent years and are no longer just for the rich or famous. However, certain mistakes could be made that may invalidate all or part of the agreement in the event of a divorce.

For example, the timing of the signing of the agreement matters. Presenting such a document to the other party too close to the wedding could cause him or her to feel unduly pressured into signing, create doubt about its fair negotiation, or result in a legally required aspect to inadvertently omitted.  Each party should have enough time to review and negotiate the prenup. Although the right to have an attorney is not mandated in Virginia, other jurisdictions may require that protection. Having attorneys involved will also help ensure that neither party benefits unfairly from the prenup and that his or her rights are protected.

Other problems that could arise include the information contained in the prenuptial agreement. For instance, if either party provides incomplete or false information, it could invalidate the agreement. Also, certain provisions, such as the custody of children who are not yet born or child support amounts, are not going to be binging on a court in the future.

After spending time and money to prepare a prenuptial agreement, neither party wants that agreement to be invalidated by the court in the event of a divorce. Instead of taking the chance that something could go wrong, it is beneficial and always recommended to work with a family law attorney in order to make sure that the prenup will stand up to the court’s scrutiny if its legality is ever challenged.