A prenuptial agreement in Arizona is only valuable if it is legally valid. Read on to learn some of the causes for invalid prenuptial agreements. Having the right Arizona family lawyer help you from the beginning is the best way to approach this situation.
Not Properly Written or Executed
If the document is not written and signed by both parties, a court could determine it is invalid down the road. In order to be enforceable, the agreement needs to be in writing and have the signatures for both parties.
While this one is more difficult to prove, it can serve as legal standing for an invalid prenup. If you were forced to sign the document against your wishes, the document could be thrown out. Bear in mind that having a lawyer demonstrate how you were pressured into this is likely an important element of a successful case. Each case is unique, but your lawyer must be able to show that there were extenuating circumstances happening when you signed the document.
Unfortunately, many people think of a prenup as a catch-all where they outline any number of demands for either the marriage or for life after a potential divorce. While the agreement can usually cover most financial aspects of the relationship between the two parties, it cannot prohibit child support obligations, for example. The same goes for any provisions that would actually involve illegal actions. Since this depends on the court, it is possible that the judge would rule out illegal provisions while still supporting the enforcement of the rest of the document.
Both parties have to engage in full disclosure in order for the document to be valid, as well. If one party has failed to provide the right information about assets and liabilities, then the document could be ruled invalid. This also applies to situations where incomplete information has been provided.
Lack of Independent Counsel
Not only is it a bad idea for both parties to use the same lawyer for a prenup, it could be the cause of the document being ruled invalid down the line. Both parties should have a lawyer for their own sake, because there are independent interests at stake in the development of a prenup. Make sure you each have identified an attorney who can represent your interests in this important process of drafting a document.
Having an attorney sooner rather than later can be very important for the purpose of a prenuptial agreement. This gives each party the opportunity to clearly understand provisions inside the document and to ask any questions or request revisions. This is simply smart planning, and it should be done under the guidance of a knowledgeable Arizona family lawyer. Having the document written properly means lack of confusion in the future and protection for both parties. If the document is ruled invalid as a result of mistakes, it could be devastating for one or both parties in the future.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Invalid Prenuptial Agreements, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.