Your spouse is seeking a divorce and you are concerned about your future since you signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married. You worry that, with a prenup in place, you will be forced out onto the streets and have no basis for pursuing spousal support or other forms of support.
Do not fret. You should retrieve a copy of the prenuptial agreement and talk to an experienced Tempe divorce lawyer about your legal options. This is assuming your prenuptial agreement is in writing. If you and your spouse simply agreed orally to a prenup, you should definitely talk to a lawyer because oral prenups are not legally enforceable.
Below are five ways your attorney could challenge the validity of the prenuptial agreement:
Prenup was improperly executed
Both parties must sign a premarital agreement before the wedding in order for the agreement to be considered valid.
Your spouse pressured you into signing the prenup
Signing a prenuptial agreement under duress is a valid basis for challenging the validity of the agreement. Duress means you were essentially pressured by your spouse or their lawyer to sign the agreement. A related issue if you were asked to sign the agreement and given very little time to review and consider the scope and terms of the agreement. For example, if your spouse hands you a copy of the prenup and a pen an hour before the wedding, the agreement is likely invalid.
Child support in the agreement
Under Arizona law, child support obligations cannot be modified or stipulated to in a prenuptial agreement. The courts have exclusive domain over ordering child support and custody (now known as shared decision making).
Prenup contains false information
A premarital agreement is supposed to encompass the financial assets, liabilities, and income of both spouses. A prenup is therefore only valid if the information contained in the agreement is accurate. This means if a spouse tells you they only have a certain amount of assets, but have been hiding substantial assets in offshore bank accounts, the agreement does not protect those undisclosed assets and may cause a court to invalidate the agreement altogether.
You did not have independent counsel review the agreement before signing
Both you and your spouse should have independent legal counsel review a prenuptial agreement before signing. If only your spouse’s attorney reviewed the agreement and simply told you that everything was fine, then you may be able to challenge the agreement due to lack of counsel.
Talk to an Experienced Tempe Divorce Lawyer Today
The Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack has decades of experience representing Arizonans in family law matters, including prenuptial agreement disputes. Contact his office today by calling 480-345-2652 to schedule a consultation.