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When is a prenuptial agreement invalid?

Many Rhode Island residents may understand the importance of a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can help to divide property should a marriage end in divorce. This can help to keep separations and divorces from getting contentious and make sure that everyone's interests are protected in case of a break-up.

While prenuptial agreements can be very helpful for you, you should also understand the reasons why they can be invalidated. If certain procedures are broken, or causes included, your prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable. Therefore, the court would dictate how property is split, and not the agreement.

First, prenuptial agreements are invalid if they are not in writing or signed by both parties. They can also be unenforceable if you or your spouse was not given enough time to read and consider the agreement. Furthermore, you cannot be coerced into signing the document. In other words, people must be given enough time to read, consider, understand and agree to sign the prenuptial agreement for it to be enforceable. Often, you and your spouse will also need to have independent legal counsel for the agreement to be enforceable.

A prenuptial agreement will also be invalidated if it is missing information or contains false information. You have to have been given all of the correct information in order to be held to the terms in the agreement. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement cannot discuss child support or other unconscionable terms.

People should understand how to properly execute a prenuptial agreement prior to entering into one. While this post cannot provide specific advice about your prenuptial agreement, additional legal help with a qualified professional can.

Source:, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," accessed Oct. 5. 2014

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