Forming a prenuptial agreement with your spouse before marriage can be a prudent decision that protects your respective independence. Having a prenup does not necessarily mean you plan to get a divorce, but it does ensure you will maintain your livelihood if things do not work out.
If divorce does seem imminent, however, you might start to wonder if the prenuptial agreement you have in place will actually hold up in court. Understanding whether or not your prenup is still valid will empower you to prepare accordingly for the impending split.
Why might your prenuptial agreement be invalid?
Though it might go without saying, one reason your prenuptial agreement might not hold up in court is if you and your spouse arrived at a verbal agreement without signing any binding documents. Another reason is if the existing agreement is unconscionable, skewing heavily in favor of one spouse over the other. Your spouse can also render the agreement invalid if they successfully claim that they do not understand the agreement or that they signed it under duress.
How can you protect your assets if your prenup is invalid?
If your prenuptial agreement is invalid, you still have options for protecting your assets in a divorce. If you and your spouse are still willing to compromise, you can arrive at a postnuptial agreement through mediation. Otherwise, it may be necessary to work with a forensic accountant who can equip you with accurate and impartial valuations of your business or other assets that you can use during asset division negotiations.
In most cases, a prenuptial agreement is an enforceable document that will hold up in court without issue. Keep in mind, though, that it is never too late to arrive at a separation agreement with your spouse until the divorce is final.