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Can a Prenup be Overturned?

When two people get married, the default property regime is the absolute community of property, whereby the properties of each spouse that were brought into the marriage will be co-owned by the other spouse. That means that everything one owns, the other also owns. This default property regime comes into play if the spouses did not agree on a particular one in a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is a contract that the soon-to-be spouses enter into before their marriage union. Typically, the prenup includes all stipulations, including the property rights of each person. It lists down every piece of property each one owns and stipulates what each of their property rights are during and after the marriage. 

Because these are contractual arrangements, prenups are valid and enforceable in the same manner as regular contracts. However, the courts have the power to overturn them according to statutory grounds on marital arrangements. 

When Can the Court Overturn a Prenup?

When two people enter into a contract, there is an exchange — an offer and acceptance consideration. Contracts also include a form of disclosure. Courts can overturn a prenup contract for any valid reason that is set forth by law. Some examples are: 

  • If the disclosures were inaccurate 
  • If one party misrepresented their financial situation
  • If one of the parties was coerced or under duress

Divorce courts are courts of equity. Hence, they have the power to overturn and rule over things that show that there is no fairness. 

What to Do if You’re Looking to Overturn a Prenup

If a person is seeking to overturn a prenup, they should look at it from the standpoint of a contract and with fairness as a top consideration. Anyone who is seeking to overturn of a prenup should ask questions, such as:

  • Were they adequately informed when the prenup was signed? 
  • Did they have an opportunity to have the agreement reviewed by a third party attorney? 
  • Did they feel like they were coerced into entering the prenup agreement? 
  • Were they under duress? 

While it’s possible to overturn a prenup, there are only certain factors to be able to do so. It’s always advisable to look at the contracts and make sure that an attorney reviews them. An attorney can help review the situation as a whole and determine if there is grounds to overturn it. 

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Todd
Burnham

Founding Partner

Boulder

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