Prenup Remorse: Can You Get Out Of A Prenuptial Agreement Once You Have Signed It?
You have heard of people getting cold feet before a wedding, but what if you are 100 percent sure you want to be with your spouse, but you have misgivings about your prenuptial agreement? Are prenuptial agreements set in stone? One of the purposes of a prenuptial agreement is to stop conflicts about finances and debts before they start. In the best instances, you rarely think about your prenup once you have signed it and walked down the aisle; its guidelines for handling money and financial obligations become second nature. If regrets and worries about a prenup that you have already signed eat away at you, though, it is time to talk to a lawyer. Perhaps you want to leave your cheating spouse, but you have already signed away your right to most of the assets that, if not for the prenup, would be marital property. Maybe you signed up to be responsible for your spouse’s premarital student debt, but your spouse never got the well-paying job he was hoping for, and the debt burden is making it hard for you to help your kids from your first marriage save for college. Even if you signed the prenup years ago and have regretted it ever since, it’s not too late to talk to a South Florida prenuptial agreement lawyer.
Enforcing a Prenup, Or Not
Couples sign prenuptial agreements with the understanding that, in a divorce, the court will follow the prenup to the letter. This does not always happen, though, much to the relief of those who suffer from prenup remorse. If you can persuade the court that the prenup is unconscionable, meaning that it is so unfair that no reasonable person would agree to it, then the court will not enforce it. Likewise, if you can prove that you signed the prenup under fraud or duress, the court will not enforce the agreement. An example of duress would be if your spouse threatened to cancel the wedding and withdraw your green card application unless you signed the prenup. Courts have also decided not to enforce prenups when one party was not given enough time to review the agreement with a lawyer.
Amending or Abandoning a Prenup
If, during your marriage, you and your spouse agree that the prenup isn’t what you want, you can sign another agreement that amends or revokes your original prenup. In a few cases, courts have also ruled that the parties’ actions during the marriage amount to abandonment of their prenuptial agreement. This was the case of Peter and Sheila, who were married for 30 years. At the end of a divorce case that included 25,000 pages of documents, the court ruled that $8 million of Peter’s $28 million fortune was marital property, and it awarded Sheila half of the marital assets. Contrary to the text of the prenup, it also awarded Sheila alimony.
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