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Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Virginia

Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Voided by the Court?

Experienced Virginia Attorneys

In today’s marriage culture, getting a prenuptial agreement – a marital agreement you make before getting married to say who gets what assets and why in case of divorce – are essentially a norm. Married couples of all walks of life are seeing the benefits of making a prenup. You can save time, money, and effort with such a legal safety net underneath you.

Just having a prenuptial drafted and signed is not enough, though. It needs to be a valid prenup that the court won’t throw out if and when it comes to its attention. If you aren’t sure if your prenuptial will stand up to the courtroom’s scrutiny, it might be time to revisit it, rewrite it, and retain an attorney.

Some common reasons prenuptial agreements are voided are:

  1. Not in writing: There are plenty of verbal agreements and contracts in the world of business but not so much in the world of family law. If you didn’t get your prenuptial in writing, it won’t mean much of anything to the court, even if you and your spouse liked what was said.
  2. No disclosure: In order to fairly predetermine who gets what property, all property and assets need to be completely disclosed. Forgetting about an account or hiding a deed to a secret summer home will instantly null and void a prenuptial agreement, and really upset the court.
  3. Undue pressure: Coercion is a pretty big deal breaker in any sort of legally binding contract. If it can be shown that you or your spouse acted not entirely of their own accord when signing the prenup, the judge probably won’t accept it.
  4. Incorrect claims: Prenuptial agreements can only control property division and spousal support provisions. A prenup that includes child support or child custody will have those particular provisions completely tossed out, and the rest of the agreement brought under the court’s microscope and skeptic gaze.
  5. Clerical error: The fastest way to have a prenuptial agreement tossed out by the court is to never have it be properly drafted in the first place. A missing signature here, some incorrect legalese there, and the entire thing can come undone.

With all of these possible issues in mind, it is safe to say that if you are thinking of making a prenuptial, or even a post-nuptial agreement, doing so with a professional is a good call. You can come talk to our Fairfax divorce attorneys at Malinowski Hubbard, PLLC for all of your questions and concerns. We have Super Lawyers® on our team, an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, and have been listed in Best Lawyers®. Contact us today and put that level of service on your side.