As the divorce gets closer, you start looking back over the prenuptial agreement you and your spouse signed when you got married 10 years ago. Back then, it seemed bulletproof. Now you're not so sure, and you are hoping to contest it in court. Is that possible, or are you stuck with whatever you agreed to a decade ago?
You absolutely can contest a prenup. You do need a valid reason, though. Simply not liking the terms anymore isn't enough. A few potential reasons include:
You Were Under Duress
You felt far too pressured into the prenuptial agreement. Perhaps you were pregnant, for instance, and your ex threatened to leave you and try to get sole custody of the child if you did not sign. You didn't want to, but you made a rash decision to protect yourself and your relationship with your new baby.
You Did Not Have Any Time to Consider It
This is another type of duress. Your spouse brought the prenup up so late in the process that you never really got to read it and think about it the way you should have. For instance, maybe he or she showed it to you the night before the wedding. You did not want the embarrassment of cancelling the wedding with everyone in town, so you signed.
Your Spouse Lied
The prenup was pretty vague, and your spouse lied to you about his or her assets. You signed it without realizing what you were signing away.
The Prenup Addresses Child Support and Custody
It is never legal, under any circumstances, to set up child custody rights or support obligations in a prenup. The only way to do this is through the court system during the divorce. If your spouse added a clause to the prenup saying no support would get paid or that all custody rights would be taken from you, it's invalid and illegal.
Challenging the Prenup
As you can see, though a prenup may be binding when drafted and executed properly, don't assume that it is just because it exists. Make sure you really know all of your legal rights and options as you head for divorce.
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