When a Premarital Agreement Can Be Considered Invalid

signing paperwork for a divorce

A prenuptial agreement can be an incredibly useful option for couples looking to protect their individual financial status should a divorce come into play in the future. The negative stigma associated with prenups has long since passed as now they’re often looked at as a smart financial decision for couples planning to marry.

But time changes people and what was once an acceptable agreement may no longer be true a few years or decades down the road. If you signed a prenuptial agreement and wish to break it or are concerned your agreement is not valid, then this article is for you.

Voiding a Prenuptial Agreement in Oregon

Prenuptial agreements in Oregon are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which dictates when an agreement is not valid. A few of the possible reasons your agreement could be voided include:

  1. The agreement was not signed voluntarily.
    • If you were forced to sign the agreement against your consent or were not given ample time to read the terms, then the agreement may not be valid. The Oregon court system will scrutinize your agreement closely, which is why accusations such as this one aren’t taken lightly. To avoid this, both parties should have their own lawyer representing your interests and the document should be notarized.
  2. False information was used to create the document.
    • Per law, the full disclosure of assets of both parties is required for the agreement to be valid. If one spouse withheld information, the entire agreement can be voided.
  3. It wasn’t in writing.
    • Oregon family law requires prenuptial agreements to be in writing and signed by both parties.
  4. It contains errors.
    • A prenup is a legally binding contract and should be treated as such. Awkward wording and a failure to cover all your bases could leave loopholes in the agreement. Depending on the severity of the errors, the document or certain provision of the agreement may be deemed void.
  5. It contains unreasonable requests.
    • Premarital agreements can contain just about anything when it comes to your finances. In most situations, the court here in Oregon will enforce prenups even if they aren’t fair. However, agreements that are entirely one-sided and leaves one party with financial hardship could be contested. Furthermore, prenups cannot be enforced if they contain provisions that go against state law or public policy.

Signing a Prenup: What You Need to Know

No one can tell you whether you should sign a prenup. You can seek the advice of a family law attorney who can decipher the document and help you understand the consequences should you sign it. Ultimately, though, the choice of signing is yours.

If you’re looking to create a prenuptial agreement, be sure to work with an attorney who understands the process. As you’ve read in this post, prenups are not bulletproof and can be voided if not carefully worded. Additionally, once a premarital agreement is signed, it is a “living” document, which means that if the agreement requires you to do certain things and you or your spouse do not do those things, you could be affecting the future legal effectiveness of the document.

Hobson / Oram Law

Hobson Oram Law