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Breaking free from an oppressive or unfair prenuptial agreement

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | Family Law

Some Virginia people who are planning to marry will sign a prenuptial agreement. Some of those people will later conclude that they do not like the terms of the prenuptial agreement that was signed when their relationship was in a better place.  The question then becomes whether or not the prenuptial agreement can be ignored or set aside.

Reasons to invalidate a prenuptial agreement

Virginia requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and signed by both parties. If these formalities are not satisfied, then there is no enforceable agreement.

Other reasons to deny enforcement of a prenuptial agreement. Other reasons a court might deny a request to enforce the agreement include the following:

  • The person against whom enforcement is sought did not sign the agreement voluntarily. The person challenging the agreement must prove that he or she was forced to sign the agreement against her will. Such proof may include financial threats, a threat to withdraw from the engagement, or any other possible action that a person may perceive as potentially harmful.
  • The agreement was unconscionable, which essentially means that it is so one-sided as to shock the conscience of the court.
  • The person against whom enforcement is sought was not given an adequate listing of the assets and debts of the other party prior to signing the agreement.

Solid advice from a knowledgeable divorce attorney

Any person who finds themselves trapped in an oppressive premarital agreement may wish to consult an experienced divorce attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood that a judge will declare the agreement to be unenforceable.