When exchanging vows, most Colorado couples probably aren't thinking about divorce. However, things come up and unforeseeable circumstances can lead to the decision to split up. As such, some people rely on the security and peace of mind provided by a prenuptial agreement, largely considered to be a nearly iron-clad legal agreement designating how assets will be divided in the event of divorce.
A recent family law ruling, however, has led many observers to closely examine what it takes to ensure that a prenuptial agreement is enforceable at the time a couple wishes to divorce. In this particular case, a woman successfully challenged the validity of the prenuptial agreement she signed with her husband in 1998. As a result, the couple will now have to address asset and property division, which may ultimately be determined by the court.
Many couples not only view a prenuptial as a matter of insurance, but it can also be a way to ensure that a divorce proceeds quickly and amicably. By enforcing this document, many financial aspects of divorce are settled based on the pre-determined arrangement.
Knowing that prenups can be successfully challenged, it may be beneficial to understand the grounds for invalidating the agreement. First of all, both parties signing the prenuptial must be honest. Failure to fully disclose personal assets can create a number of problems and force couples to go back to the bargaining table.
Another way to challenge a prenuptial agreement is if a person wasn't capable of making such an agreement at the time it was signed. If a spouse is under mental distress or coerced into signing the agreement, it could be successfully contested.
Above all, it's important to have someone with legal knowledge when drafting, signing and filing a prenuptial agreement. Property division is a complex process, and failing to ensure that all the proper steps are taken to enforce a prenuptial agreement can create a tremendous headache.
Source: Forbes, "Five Reasons Your Prenup Might Be Invalid," Jeff Landers, April 2, 2013