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What could invalidate a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements may act as insurance against a messy divorce since you and your spouse have hammered out delicate post-divorce issues in advance. Still, you should be aware that Kentucky courts can declare prenuptial agreements invalid under certain conditions. For this reason, you should be on the lookout for certain pitfalls that can cause a judge to throw out your prenuptial agreement.

The Kentucky Bar Association explains that state courts have identified criteria that may invalidate prenuptial agreements. In the court case Gentry v. Gentry, it was determined that courts may strike down part of a prenuptial or all of it if any of three criteria should occur. First, a spouse should not use fraudulent means to obtain the agreement from the other spouse. Secondly, the agreement cannot be unconscionable in nature. Finally, circumstances since the agreement was composed cannot have made the agreement unfair to enforce.

Further court decisions have identified ways judges may disqualify a prenuptial. Edwardson v. Edwardson established the court’s right to throw out a prenup if the agreement was not made in good faith. The agreement must have been composed with all facts revealed that can affect the terms of the agreement, such as spousal circumstances. The agreement must also be fair and just in light of the circumstances and conditions of the couple.  

Asset disclosure is also a crucial part of a prenuptial agreement. Spouses putting together a prenup should disclose their assets and if possible, the values of the assets. The party who wishes to rely on the agreement to protect his or her assets will need to disclose these assets on the agreement. A failure to list assets may also run the risk of rendering the agreement invalid due to fraud.

It may not always be clear what a judge will consider unfair to one spouse or the other, so it is advisable to ask a professional family law attorney about your prenup. Try to identify possible problematic parts of the agreement that could cause a judge to throw the agreement out.

Because prenuptial agreements differ from couple to couple, you should not consider this article as legal advice. It is only written to educate readers on family law topics.

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