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Why might a prenuptial agreement be invalid?

Prenups are meant to protect your interests in case you get divorced. However, though the people using them may not realize it, these agreements aren't always valid. Below are a few big reasons for invalid prenuptial agreements:

1. The couple doesn't write it down. A prenup has to be in writing.

2. One person was pressured to sign the agreement and wouldn't have otherwise.

3. Both people did not sign it before the wedding ceremony. Signing after the ceremony doesn't help.

4. One person didn't even read the prenup, but just signed it without knowing what it said.

5. Some of the provisions in the prenup are illegal. For example, it can't dictate that one parent doesn't have to pay any child support.

6. There wasn't enough time for both people to consider the agreement carefully before signing. If one spouse shows up at the wedding ceremony with a prenup and demands that the other person sign it before the ceremony starts, for instance, that won't hold up.

7. Someone lied -- perhaps about his or her assets -- in the prenup.

8. The agreement is so unfair that one person will thrive while the other faces a "severe financial hardship."

9. The information in the prenup is incomplete. For example, someone may not have lied directly, but he or she may have left out important details on purpose.

As you can see, it's incredibly important to make sure that you carefully follow all necessary legal steps when drafting a prenuptial agreement. The last thing you want is to assume you're protected when your agreement actually won't hold up in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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