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When can I challenge a prenuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2021 | Divorce

The euphoria of love can sometimes cloud your judgment. You may do or agree to things you normally would not. Years later, when the sun has gone out of your marriage and you decide to divorce, you may question the wisdom of any prenuptial agreement you made. Thankfully, there are circumstances in which you can challenge it.

Not all prenuptial agreements stand up in court

There are several grounds for challenging the validity of a prenuptial agreement or antenuptial agreement as they are officially known in Massachusetts:

  • The other party forced you to sign: Unless you have a video of your spouse holding a gun to your head as you sign, this can be challenging to prove. However, it may be possible. Threats can be verbal or implied, as well as physical.
  • The document is fraudulent: If the signature on the page is not yours, you have a right to challenge it. Even if the signature is valid, you could contest the document if your spouse altered the text after you signed.
  • You never signed the agreement: Reading the document or verbally agreeing to it counts for nothing without each party’s signature. If you never gave that signature, a court will typically find that there is no prenuptial agreement.
  • It oversteps its scope: There are limits to what a prenuptial agreement can cover. Typically they deal with financial matters. You cannot usually place conditions related to children, custody or child support.

Courts retain the power to annul a whole prenuptial agreement or sections of it if they see fit. Do not be afraid to contest one if you feel you have valid grounds.