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Prenuptial agreements can be challenged

Couples in California who have the foresight to create a prenuptial agreement before getting married may feel that their financial rights are secured should their marriage come to an end. In many cases this is true. However, that doesn't mean that the terms of a prenuptial agreement cannot be challenged should the couple eventually divorce.

In general, there are five reasons a prenup may be considered invalid. One such reason is if one person was found to have signed the agreement under duress or was in some other way coerced into entering the agreement.

Another way a prenup may be found to be invalid is if it is fraudulent. For example, if one spouse did not fully disclose all of their assets and liabilities prior to signing, the agreement could be considered fraudulent. Similarly, agreements that are unconscionable -- that is, blatantly unfair -- may be invalidated.

Other reasons a prenuptial could be considered invalid are technical. For example, merely improperly filing the document could result in its invalidity, as can having the agreement created and executed without an attorney.

These are only a few general reasons why a prenup could be invalidated. In some cases, the validity of the agreement can hinge on one or two little words. In the end, prenuptial agreements are often made in order to protect the spouse with the greater share of separate property from losing too much should the marriage end. That being said, they can also be made in order to ensure that the spouse with fewer financial assets is still taken care of.

The details are important when it comes to drafting a valid prenup. Prenups are important tools in protecting each spouse's financial interests in the event of a divorce. With the right approach, a prenup can be created that can stand up to the stress of a divorce.

Source: Forbes, "How Key Portions Of Prenups And Postnups Can Be Invalidated," Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2014

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