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Can a Prenuptial Agreement Become Invalid?

Lebovitz Law LLC Oct. 13, 2022

Gavel and prenuptial agreement on deskA prenuptial agreement is a signed document made by a couple prior to marriage. Essentially, it is a legal contract that states how both parties will divide their property, debts and marital assets if they were to divorce. Not many people like to think about divorce before their wedding day, but failing to sign an agreement can lead to regrets in the future. Whether you own a business, possess large assets or want to safeguard a child’s future inheritance, a prenup is an excellent protective measure.  

The attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help you create a solid prenuptial agreement that satisfies you and your soon-to-be spouse. Should you decide to sign one, however, it will need to be valid. Otherwise, a court may declare it unenforceable. One of our attorneys will ensure that your document meets the conditions of validity in Maryland.  

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Become Invalid? 

First and foremost, a prenuptial agreement must be signed by both individuals before the marriage occurs. While it’s not a requirement, couples are also encouraged to have their prenup signed by a notary public. Doing so strengthens the document, which can be useful if you need to present it in court in the future. It’s also worth noting that any verbal agreements will not be considered valid by the courts.  

The validity of a prenuptial agreement can also be revoked in a number of other situations. These include: 

  • Unconscionable agreements. Prenuptial agreements can’t benefit one party and leave the other in a dire situation. For example, your spouse couldn’t take millions of dollars in assets and force you into destitution. This will be viewed as unconscionable by a court and invalidated. Generally, however, both parties want a mutually beneficial agreement. 

  • Fraud. If one spouse hides certain aspects of their financial situation or lies about their assets, that’s considered fraud. Both parties must also sign the agreement willingly and in a competent state of mind. Maryland courts will invalidate any agreement that was influenced by coercion or fraud.   

  • The inclusion of child custody agreements. Prenuptial agreements cannot take away a parent’s right to custody or relinquish any financial assistance for the couple’s children. Any document that includes clauses related to child support will be automatically invalidated. 

  • A lack of fair legal representation. When it comes to prenups, most attorneys recommend that both parties attain their own legal representation. After all, you want someone to represent you and look after your individual assets. If you didn’t have access to a lawyer prior to signing an agreement, it may not be viewed as valid.  

What to Do if You Believe Your Prenuptial Agreement is Invalid  

Valid prenuptial agreements don’t expire, and they continue to be enforced after a divorce is finalized. If you think your contract is invalid, it’s important that you contact a lawyer. It’s not always easy to challenge a prenuptial agreement, and you must provide evidence that proves it should not be enforced. The attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can guide you through this process and advocate for your needs. Simply get in touch with us to set up a consultation. 

Do You Have Questions about Prenuptial Agreements? The Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Can Help  

At Lebovitz Law, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate legal documents like prenuptial agreements. If you’re seeking a divorce or you need help with a prenup in Maryland, you’ll need assistance from a legal expert. Whether you are convinced that the document is invalid, or you have questions about divorce proceedings, the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (410) 657-6494.