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Common reasons for invalidating prenuptial agreements

Signing a prenuptial agreement before you get married can be a good move; it protects you and your spouse against debts and other concerns. However, if you don't create the prenuptial agreement correctly or you include invalid items, then the entire agreement could be thrown out in court in the case of your divorce. Here are a few things you should avoid doing to make sure your prenuptial agreement is valid.

First, remember that both parties need to be represented by a different attorney before signing the agreement. Each person needs to fully understand the agreement and sign voluntarily; having a personal attorney will help prove that neither client was under duress at the time of signing and that both understood the terms of the agreement.

Sometimes, prenuptial agreements become invalid because of the timing of when they're signed. A person could argue that the prenuptial agreement was presented at the last minute, forcing him or her to sign, especially if it was presented in the last two to three months or even days before the wedding. Coercion into signing is a real thing, and courts do not agree with it. To avoid this, sign your documents at least three months before the wedding. One month could be enough in most cases, but the sooner you create the prenuptial agreement, the better.

Finally, prenuptial agreements can be nullified if one party wasn't truthful. You must have full disclosure when you create these documents. If you or your spouse was not honest, then the prenuptial agreement could be thrown out. If this is a concern, your attorney may be able to help you address the problem.

Source: Huffpost Divorce, "10 Common Prenup Pitfalls," David Centeno, accessed June 16, 2016

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