Prenuptial agreements are great tools for individuals who both want to outline the responsibilities of each party during a marriage and protect certain assets, such as a family home, business or heirloom, in the event of a divorce. However, circumstances change, and the terms you agreed on when you first entered your New Jersey union may not be terms you necessarily agree with now. If that is the case, you may wonder, can you terminate your prenuptial agreement? Unfortunately, unless both you and your spouse agree to nullify it, the courts will only overrule it if the terms of the agreement are invalid.
According the FindLaw, the validity of a prenup typically comes into question when one of 10 factors exist. The first and most obvious factor is the lack of a written agreement. A judge cannot enforce a premarital contract if he or she has no physical contract to enforce. In addition to there being a written agreement, New Jersey also requires a valid signature from both parties. Without that, a contract is unenforceable.
A judge may also render a prenup invalid if one party failed to read the entirety of the agreement. This typically occurs when one party tries to convince the other to sign the papers quickly. Likewise, if one party did not have adequate time to consider the terms of the contract, a judge may overrule one or all of its provisions.
If your spouse or his or her attorney pressured you into signing the premarital agreement, it is invalid. The same holds true if the same attorney represented you during the consideration and signing of the prenup.
If you entered the premarital contract based on false or complete information pertaining to, say, income, assets or liabilities, the agreement is unenforceable. Though you can waive several or all spousal rights via a prenup — such as the right to spousal support, the right to inherit from your spouse and the right to marital property — if the agreement is grossly unfair to one party, it is unlikely the judge will enforce it.
Finally, if the contract contains invalid provisions, the judge may strike just those provisions or render the whole agreement void. An example of an illegal clause includes the wavier or modification of child support.
This article is for your educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.