Is A Pre- Or Post-Nuptial Agreement Invalid If You Were Coerced Or Deceived Into Signing It?

Is there any way to invalidate a pre- or post-nuptial agreement if a spouse can prove that it was forced upon them by the other spouse? “There might be,” says our Salt Lake City property division attorney Emy A. Cordano. “But it depends on your particular circumstances, and, as politically incorrect as it may sound, whether you are a man or woman.”

Okay, let’s start with the basics. A pre- or post-nuptial agreement is a legal document signed between fiancés or spouses before or after getting married respectively. The purpose of both the pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreement is to allow partners or spouses to establish how their assets, property, and joint debt will be divided between the event of a divorce or legal separation in Utah.

Also, many such agreements establish the amount, if any, of spousal support that one of the spouses will have to pay to the other spouse when, and if, their marriage is terminated.

Are you required by law to sign a pre- or postnuptial agreement in Utah?

It is understandable that most couples shy away from signing pre- and post-nuptial agreements simply because bringing up the topic of divorce does not make any sense at the onset of a relationship or marriage. However, since up to 50 percent of all married American couples get divorced, statistically speaking, having conversations about the division of property and assets seems quite reasonable (even if it is uncomfortable).

“Think about marriage as a business deal,” advises our experienced property division attorney in Salt Lake City. “Any smart businessman would never enter into a long-term arrangement without having a legally binding contract in place, especially with so many financial risks involved.”

How you can be deceived when signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement

But did you know that cunning and deceitful persons take advantage of the pre- or post-nuptial agreements to force, fool, or deceive their unsuspecting spouses or spouses-to-be into signing the agreement? And in many such cases, the unsuspecting spouse has no idea what she or he is agreeing to.

So let’s imagine the following scenario: you are going through a divorce and it is time to divide your marital property and assets. And then you suddenly realize that you are not entitled to receive any of the property. Basically, all you are getting after the divorce is joint debt. Sounds unfair, right? But your spouse says you will not be able to do anything about it, as you had agreed to such terms in the agreement before or after the divorce.

Can you invalidate a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Utah?

That’s why many of our readers might wonder: “Is there any way to invalidate a pre- or post-nuptial agreement if I can prove that I was forced to sign it?” Get ready to hear something very politically incorrect and somewhat unfair.

Family courts in Salt Lake City and elsewhere in Utah are more likely to believe that you were forced into signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if any of the following are true:

  • You are a woman who claims to have been coerced into signing the agreement by her husband or fiancé. Although men can claim this, too, courts are more inclined to believe women since they are more likely to be physically threatened or intimidated into doing whatever a husband or future husband tells her to.
  • You are a woman who claims to have been fooled or deceived into signing the agreement. Again, men can claim that they had been deceived by their wife, too, but a woman has significantly higher chances to succeed with her claim.
  • You are a woman who was given the prenuptial agreement shortly before the wedding ceremony (or, in legal terms, “at the 11th hour”). But what is the “11th hour” under Utah law? It depends on your situation, as sometimes, a couple of hours before the wedding can be considered “the 11th hour,” while in other cases, even a couple of days can be considered “just before the wedding.”
  • You are a spouse (regardless of gender, but women are given a preference here, given that men tend to be more business and legal savvy) who claims to have been forced into signing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement without having the opportunity to speak to an experienced lawyer of your choice.

There are many other grounds for invalidating both the prenuptial agreement and postnuptial agreement in Utah. Consult with our Salt Lake City divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano to speak about your particular case. Call our offices at (801) 901-8159.

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