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Factors that may invalidate a prenuptial agreement

People often view prenuptial agreements as a bulletproof means of protecting their financial and property-based assets in the event that their pending marriages end in divorce. Through a prenuptial agreement, a couple in Virginia may establish a support plan, decide who will keep the house and other key pieces of real estate and determine if and how shared accounts may be separated as the couple's marriage comes to an end. Prenuptial agreements cannot make any arrangements regarding children, such as custody or support, and if they do those provisions may be invalidated.

Prenuptial agreements can be invalidated in their entirety if certain factors are present in them after execution, or were present at the time they were signed. For example, if the agreement is unsigned then it generally cannot used to bind parties to its terms. Similarly, if one of the partners to the marriage did not have an opportunity to read the agreement before signing it the prenup may be invalidated later on.

Both parties to a pending marriage should have the chance to review their prospective prenuptial agreement with their attorneys prior to signing it and neither party should be forced to sign if they are uncertain about its terms. Prenuptial agreements that place undue burdens on some of the parties are often found invalid as they are not fair in their outcomes.

A good way to avoid future problems with a prenuptial agreement is to discuss its drafting with a family law attorney. Lawyers who work with premarital clients can make sure that their prenups are properly prepared and carefully executed so that they may stand up to scrutiny later on if their validity is questioned.

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