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Potential challenges to a prenuptial agreement

Circumstances can change drastically after some time in a marriage. A couple may sign a prenuptial agreement, not expecting significant growth in wealth or a change in who becomes the breadwinner.

At the time of divorce, a mate may question the validity or fairness of a prenup. While the document holds up in most cases, the contract can become invalid under specific conditions.

Conditions that can nullify a prenup

Maryland has no laws that specifically deal with prenups. The statutes that apply to contract law affect the agreement and can determine if the contract is invalid.

For example, any contract that a person signs under false pretenses may not hold up in court. For a prenup, this might include a mate hiding assets or not receiving a complete understanding of the other spouse’s financial situation.

Cases of fraud or coercion can nullify a contract in Maryland. A spouse cannot pressure the other to sign the prenup. Pushing a person to sign when not competent, such as when under the influence of alcohol or medication, can make an agreement unenforceable.

Other circumstances pertaining to marriage contracts

If a mate proves that the marriage was illegitimate and that the court should annul it, a prenup might no longer be in effect since the marriage itself is void. Additionally, a prenup cannot address the issues of child custody and support. Since the court wants to ensure the ideal situation for children, it does not have to follow any instructions in the prenup.

Challenging a prenup is difficult but not impossible. If a person can establish the contract was illegal or the marriage was void, there may be a case to toss out the document.

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