A good prenuptial agreement can protect your assets in the event of a divorce; however, it is important to realize that there are certain circumstances where a prenuptial agreement may be dismissed by the courts. With this being the case, it is vital to understand how New York courts enforce prenuptial agreements.
According to the New York City Bar, there are four main reasons why prenuptial agreements may not be honored by the court. With a little forethought, these issues can be easily mitigated so your prenuptial agreement remains honorable.
First of all, it is important for you and your spouse to have separate attorneys when crafting a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement that has been crafted by only one attorney will be scrutinized for potential unfairness and may not be honored. Additionally, acts of fraud may also invalidate a prenuptial agreement. It is important to disclose any and all assets that you have at the time the prenuptial agreement is forged.
Coercion is also another common way for a prenuptial agreement to be dismissed. If either you or your spouse entered a prenuptial agreement under duress at the time of signing, the prenuptial agreement may not be valid. Spouses should also have adequate time to consider the details of a prenuptial agreement before signing.
Finally, if a prenuptial agreement is found to be inherently inequitable or unfair, the courts may not honor it. It is important for a prenuptial agreement to not leave one party with absolutely nothing.
This post is intended to educate you about prenuptial agreements. It is not intended to function as legal advice.