What Voids a Prenuptial Agreement? 

In a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can be declared void if one spouse can prove that the other was under duress while signing it. Duress means that the signing took place under significant pressure or coercion. A common example of duress is when one spouse forces the other to sign the agreement before the wedding or threatens to cancel the wedding if the other does not sign. 

Unconscionable 

Courts may declare a prenuptial agreement unenforceable if the parties have engaged in conduct that is unconscionable. This conduct may be blatantly unfair or one-sided, or it may be as simple as a spouse controlling all assets before marriage. Either way, unconscionable conduct is a serious matter and may lead to the dissolution of the marriage. 

In a 1969 case called Kosik v. George, the California Supreme Court held that a prenuptial agreement was not voidable if the parties failed to obtain independent legal representation. The court determined that the parties were not compelled to secure independent counsel when entering into the prenuptial agreement, and the failure to retain independent legal counsel did not permit the trial court to subject the contract to heightened scrutiny. Moreover, a prenuptial agreement that is voidable due to a party’s misconduct is unenforceable if the spouse fails to protect their interests. 

Unfair 

While a prenuptial agreement is often considered valid, a court may void it if it is unconscionable. An unconscionable prenuptial agreement favors one party at the expense of the other. Under the Equal Rights Amendment, courts are prohibited from enforcing an agreement that favors one party at the expense of the others. 

Another reason that a prenup is considered unconscionable is if it is a result of coercion. This is when the spouse is coerced into signing an agreement that isn’t fair to the other. This can be done by enforcing it, or by presenting false information. Additionally, prenups are generally void if the parties did not consult a lawyer before signing the agreement. 

Coercion 

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract between two people, but it can be void if the spouses were coerced into signing it. In many cases, this involves a spouse who was unwilling to disclose certain information about their wealth and other issues. In other cases, the spouse was forced into signing it by force, such as a man who threatened to end his wedding if the bride did not pay a deposit. 

To void a prenuptial agreement, the spouse who induced the other spouse to sign it can prove that they signed it under duress. Duress can be defined as pressure or any other kind of threat. Common examples include a proposal to marry, a promise to marry, or even a gun to the head. In such cases, a court will consider the prenuptial agreement to be invalid. 

Hiding assets 

The prenuptial agreement between two people is a legal document that covers many issues, including child custody and spousal support. It can also protect one party’s assets during a divorce. Unfortunately, a spouse can intentionally hide assets before a prenup is signed and it can lead to the agreement being declared void. To avoid this problem, a couple must work with an attorney who will ensure that all assets are disclosed to the court. 

Hiding assets is a violation of California law, which forbids spouses from selling or giving away marital assets for less than their worth. Even if the spouse is only transferring the assets to a friend or family member, this is still considered asset hiding. Moreover, spouses who hide their assets could face serious legal consequences – from perjury charges to losing their marital assets – if the court finds out that they had not been truthful about the assets.