What Evidence Do I Need to Challenge a Prenuptial Agreement in Alabama?
Prenuptial agreements are a smart way to protect your assets and future when you’re getting married. But they’re not ironclad—while some people think that they can write anything into the terms of a prenuptial agreement and have it enforced, that simply isn’t the case. There are many circumstances in which a prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court.
If you’re bound by an unfair or unenforceable prenuptial agreement, it’s time to figure out what your next steps should be. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation now.
You may be able to challenge a prenuptial agreement if it has unenforceable terms. A good prenuptial agreement is strictly limited in what it discusses and what its terms are. A bad prenuptial agreement forces one or both parties to agree to things that a court really can’t enforce.
For example, you cannot outline child support requirements in a prenuptial agreement. Child support is owed to the child in question, not to either spouse, and you cannot interfere in a child’s rights that way. On a similar note, child custody cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement. Those decisions are made based on the best interests of the child, not based on what the parents decide before they are married.
It is each person’s choice if they want to sign a prenuptial agreement or not, even one that’s unfair to them. However, one party cannot coerce the other to sign. Coercion goes far above and beyond simply asking someone to sign a prenup or saying that it’s non-negotiable for them. Coercion often takes the form of blackmail or threats.
Timing is another important part of coercion. If one party presents the other with a prenuptial agreement shortly before the wedding and tells them that the wedding is off unless they sign immediately, the other party may be coerced into signing simply to keep the wedding on track.
Fraud, Including Failure to Disclose Assets or Debts
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one person to engage in fraud in order to get a prenuptial agreement signed. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must fully disclose all assets and debts. Hiding assets or debts may render the prenuptial agreement null and void.
Consider, for example, an extremely wealthy individual who has hidden their wealth from their partner for the entirety of their relationship. They have lived off of their partner’s earnings throughout the relationship and ask them to sign a prenuptial agreement to protect the status quo.
The other party, believing that they are protecting their own interests, signs something ensuring that all assets and income earned during the marriage stay with the individual—only to find out at the time of divorce that their partner has been sitting on a massive trust fund for the entirety of the marriage. That is both immoral and fraudulent.
An invalid legal document cannot be enforced and is easily challenged in court. If the agreement is not signed by another party, if one party claims that a verbal agreement was made, or if one party was denied the chance to review the document with an attorney, the agreement itself may be invalid.
Unconscionable and Unfair
An unfair prenuptial agreement is one thing, as it’s difficult to have an agreement that is 100% balanced. However, some prenuptial agreements are so wildly one-sided that they are considered unconscionable by the court. If an agreement is so unfair that no reasonable person would agree to its terms, the court may decide that it is unconscionable.
An agreement may be considered unconscionable if it leaves the lower-earning party with nothing after the divorce or if it leaves them unable to support themselves after a divorce. For this reason, an agreement is more likely to be unconscionable if it benefits the person with the power in a severe power imbalance.
Reach Out to Kirk Drennan Law to Protect Your Rights
If you believe you have reason to challenge your prenuptial agreement, do not wait any longer to take action. The team at Kirk Drennan Law can help you explore your options and move forward. Set up your consultation with our team now by calling our Birmingham office at 205-953-1424 or sending us a message online.
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