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Failure to disclose assets can nullify your prenuptial agreement

Because many people are waiting until later in life to get married for the first time, prenuptial agreements are growing in popularity in Colorado. The Atlantic reports that in 2013, the average age for a first marriage was 29 for men and 27 for women. This means that people have been in the workforce for some period before getting married, and may have accumulated assets that they want protected if their marriage ends in divorce.

It is not uncommon for spouses to try to undervalue their assets or keep them hidden during divorce proceedings. Due to their increasing popularity, the same underhandedness is becoming common with prenuptial agreements as well.  According to CNBC, the most common challenge to prenuptial agreements is a spouse fraudulently hiding or undervaluing their assets. Failing to disclose all of one's assets in their prenuptial agreement can result in a judge voiding all or part of the agreement.

In order to successfully prove that a prenuptial agreement should be voided, due to a failure to disclose assets, the disputing spouse will have to prove three things:

  • That a confidential relationship existed between themselves and their partners
  • That the relationship gave rise to a duty to fully and fairly disclose each party's assets
  • That one of the parties breached their duty to disclose

If used correctly, a prenuptial agreement can be a smart way for soon-to-be spouses to address their property and assets prior to entering into marriage. If one spouse tries to hide or mischaracterize their wealth, however, they may end up having to pay significantly more than if they had been forthcoming in the first place.

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