When someone’s ready to terminate their marriage, they often feel afraid to do so if they signed a prenup. They don’t want to have to leave the marriage with absolutely nothing. Fortunately, there are often loopholes in prenups if someone knows what to look for.
Finding a good divorce attorney is crucial when trying to find a loophole in your prenup. The attorney will be able to search for critical issues that make the prenup null and void. The guide below lists a few of the most common loopholes that are present in prenups.
Fraudulent Information Provided in the Prenup
When prenups are created, they need to contain factual information. Some people choose to provide fraudulent information in their prenup to make it seem like they have more property or finances than they really do.
If you can prove that your spouse provided fraudulent information when filling out their paperwork for the prenup, provide it to your attorney. They need to have documentation or evidence that can prove the information that was provided is fraudulent. You can provide witness statements, a paper trail, or anything else that proves your claims.
A Forged Prenup Isn’t Valid
If your spouse signed your name for you or had you sign their name for them, it isn’t a valid contract. Each person has to sign the contract on their own in order to be contractually obligated to it. If you know that you didn’t sign the prenup or your spouse didn’t sign it, the attorney can have a handwriting analysis done on it. The analysis will prove if the signatures are authentic.
A Prenup Cannot be Signed Under Duress
You have to be willing to sign a prenup without any coercion in order for it to be legally binding. If you felt like you were forced to sign the prenup, you need to provide the attorney with proof that shows them that you felt pressured and why you felt pressured.
The attorney can have the signature analyzed to see if it was done under duress, as well. There are certain markings that indicate your hand was shaking or you weren’t comfortable when writing your name on the paper.
The Prenup Must be in Writing
When you create a prenup for marriage, it must be put into writing. Some people assume that they can have a verbal agreement with their spouse before marriage and it will be legally binding if they ever choose to get a divorce—that isn’t the case at all. Anyone can claim that someone said something at one point in time, but they can’t prove that the person really said it. Even if the conversation is made on tape or film, it still will not be binding.
It’s best to have a prenup created by a professional attorney to ensure that it’s filled out properly, submitted at the correct time, and includes everything you and your spouse want it to include. You cannot add anything later on down the road, so you need to be sure to take the time to include everything that you possibly can from the start.
Prenups that Benefit One Person More Than the Other Person
When a prenup is created, it needs to be beneficial to both parties in the relationship. If the prenup is completely one-sided a judge may throw it out because it’s not going to be viewed as being fair.
The prenup cannot allow one person to be able to get all of the possessions, money, and property once the marriage ends. It can ensure that someone who comes into a marriage with a lot of belongings or finances doesn’t have to worry about their spouse taking everything they worked hard for just because they have decided to get a divorce.
The Prenup Needs to Be Written Before the Marriage Takes Place
Some people make the mistake of thinking that they can create a prenup at any point in the relationship, but that’s not the case. The prenup needs to be created before any marriage takes place. Even if someone elopes, it counts as a marriage and a prenup that is created after the fact will not be viewed as being valid.
Witnesses Need to be Present When the Prenup Is Signed
Before a prenup is signed, it’s important to have witnesses present to ensure that neither party can claim that they were coerced into signing the prenup.
You can take the prenup to a notary to have it notarized or you can take it directly to a judge to have him or her witness the signing. You want to be sure the witness that you choose is an impartial party so that your spouse cannot claim they are siding with you because they are a friend or relative of yours.
Information Is Omitted from the Prenup
Anything that isn’t listed in the prenup cannot be included later on down the road. Some people assume that they can make addendums to the prenups or expand on the information that is listed in it when they go to get a divorce. The judge will only uphold the exact information that is listed in the prenup no matter what you and your spouse claim should or shouldn’t be in it.
When you go to meet with the divorce attorney, be sure to provide them with a copy of your prenup. You want him or her to be able to look over every word of the document to see if they can find any other loopholes that may not be listed above. Finding a loophole in the prenup can make it null and void which could benefit you depending on what you want when your marriage dissolves.
Knowing what loopholes are in the prenup can also help you to know what your spouse may be going after when trying to finalize the divorce. This allows your attorney to be able to properly prepare to fight any loophole that your spouse tries to use to get access to some of your money or property that you had before the marriage.