Can I contest a pre-nuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is decidedly unromantic to many people. However, if you have financial obligations to family members, partners, shareholders or other interests in Michigan, it can be the right tool to smooth your path to the altar.

If you later decide to go your separate ways, you may feel the document is unfair, now that you are looking at it through more experienced eyes. Is there anything you can do about it? Perhaps.

Courts, in general, will invalidate a contract that is “unconscionable,” or grossly unfair. The prenuptial agreement may be set aside if your spouse gets just about everything while you are left with nothing.

Additional reasons for invalidating a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Attempting to set child support payments; a child’s welfare is not subject to this matter
  • Agreement was verbal only; a pre-marital agreement must be documented in writing
  • Time of signing; both spouses must sign the document before the wedding ceremony

One of the most important provisions is that both spouses must make full disclosure to their intended spouse of all income, assets and liabilities before signing the document. Failure to provide this information, or attempting to hide it, invalidates it.

Being bullied or cajoled into signing by your spouse, his family or attorney at the time may also give you grounds to fight the agreement. If you simply gave in to pressure or did not have enough time to read it beforehand, these situations can invalidate the document.

You must have enough time to not only read the document but fully understand it as well. That includes speaking with an attorney of your own to clarify any included language or arrangement, which is good advice for anyone who is considering such an agreement.

This information is general in nature and is not meant to be legal advice.

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