If you are getting divorced, you may be either relieved or concerned that you signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Depending on the circumstances of your split and your current financial situation, the terms in that agreement could significantly influence your life after divorce.
Thus, determining whether your agreement – called a marital property agreement in Wisconsin – is valid or could be unenforceable can be crucial.
Elements of an invalid agreement
You or your ex may contest all or parts of a prenuptial agreement if there are indications that it is invalid. Some reasons why prenups can be unenforceable include:
- It is not in writing
- Parties did not sign it before they married
- One party signed the agreement under duress
- There was no opportunity for parties to review the contract with an attorney
- It contains illegal clauses, including those that incentivize divorce
- The agreement includes false, misleading or missing information
- It is unreasonably unfair to one party
- The parties did not provide a financial disclosure to one another
Under these circumstances, a party could have grounds to contest the validity of the agreement asking the courts not to enforce it.
Protecting your life after divorce
A premarital agreement can preserve individual assets and shield them from division in a divorce. It can make it easier to resolve disputes during a tumultuous time and give parties peace of mind. However, they can be limiting and prevent a person from getting a satisfactory settlement in a divorce.
Because of this, parties should have legal guidance when they are considering signing a prenup. An attorney can help spot problematic clauses and negotiate favorable financial terms.
If you have a prenup and are already married but feel it no longer fits your circumstances, you might consider discussing a postnuptial agreement.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be valuable tools in helping parties navigate divorce-related matters. However, if they are unfair or invalid, they may not deliver the benefits and protection parties hope to receive. Under these circumstances, legal guidance to determine your options can be vital.