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Can you challenge a prenuptial when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Family Law

When you married your spouse, you never expected they would climb so high up the career ladder. When they asked you to sign a prenuptial agreement, you said yes, without giving it much thought or fully understanding what it meant. Now that you are divorcing, you wish you had taken more care.

If you feel the prenuptial prevents you from getting a fair divorce outcome, you need to understand if you can challenge it.

Courts can overturn some prenuptials

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is it genuine? Did you sign the document you now see before you? Has anyone made any additions or alterations since you signed?
  • Was it honest? If your spouse intentionally undervalued items or failed to include them, you may be able to challenge the agreement.
  • Did you have legal guidance: Think back to the day you signed the prenuptial. Did you have your own attorney to check things for you? Or did your spouse tell you that there was no need for that as their family lawyer drew it up?
  • Did your spouse pressure you to sign? Consider how long you had to review the document, and what if any, deadlines your spouse imposed. For instance, if they put the paper in front of you hours before you were due to travel and insisted it be signed that day, you could argue they did not leave you time to think. If they made anything dependent on you signing, such as sign by tomorrow or the wedding is off, that could count as coercion.
  • Is it reasonable? You might think it unfair, but would a court agree? For instance, they may if the agreement says your spouse keeps the Manhattan Penthouse, the Malibu beach house and 90% of the investment portfolio, and you get 10% of the portfolio and a small plot of flooded land in Louisiana.

Legal knowledge is crucial when considering a divorce. There are often ways to challenge unfair arrangements and raise the chances you get the divorce outcome you deserve.