Well-Crafted Prenuptial Agreements Difficult to Break

Prenuptial agreements have grown in popularity along with growing divorce rates. Once considered a taboo subject only to be discussed among couples with a lot of assets, prenuptial agreements are becoming commonplace whenever individuals entering a marriage wish to protect personal assets should the marriage not work out.

Because of the importance of asset protection, Denver residents seeking to enter a prenuptial agreement want to be sure it is as solid as it can be. An attorney can help with this. A recent article from Reuters on breaking prenuptial agreements is helpful in showing the more common pitfalls anyone drawing up an agreement should avoid.

The most often seen reason for a prenuptial agreement being invalidated is paperwork mistakes, according to one matrimonial lawyer. Just filling out a form incorrectly could invalidate the agreement, leading the divorcing couple to battle out their asset split in the courtroom.

Prenuptial agreements are private agreements that can cover any aspect of the marriage. While most tend to deal with financial issues, any other issue that the couple feels it necessary to put into writing can be covered as well. Some clauses that have actually been included in prenuptials include the number of times a month in-laws can visit, the stipulation that a spouse can gain no more than 10 pounds, and provisions concerning changing hair color.

Breaking a prenuptial based on factors other than paperwork errors can be difficult. A lot depends on the jurisdiction in which it was entered. The primary invalidators tend to be those involving fraud when declaring assets or if one of the signers was forced through coercion into signing. Both charges may be hard to prove however, depending on the extent of the fraud or the state's view of what constitutes coercion. One Philadelphia lawyer says that in his state coercion would literally require having a gun to one's head.

Prenuptials remain a good way to protect an individual's existing assets when going into a marriage, or to cushion the financial blow of a divorce. In Denver, a prenuptial can also be used to establish post-divorce terms such as alimony payments. With a prenuptial, a couple may be able to keep their divorce details out of the courts, helping to maintain their privacy.

Source: Reuters, "Breaking up is hard to do, breaking prenup is harder," Geoff Williams, Oct. 5, 2012

Tags: asset protection, divorce, prenuptial agreements

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