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Can you undo a prenup?

In recent years, prenuptial agreements have grown increasingly popular among engaged couples in Atlanta and throughout the country, whether or not the soon-to-be-spouses are entering their marriage with significant assets. In fact, in a recent Reuters article, one family law attorney estimated that prenups are now at least 10 times more common than they were just 20 years earlier.

As prenups grow in popularity, there are likely to be more instances in which people want or need to break or revise them for various reasons. In theory, this is pretty simple. Prenuptial agreements are just that - agreements - and if both parties to the contract want to throw it out or change it somehow, they can, in most circumstances, do that with little to no family court supervision.

But what happens when one spouse wants to break the prenup and the other doesn't? In most cases, that will probably be a bit more difficult. The spouse looking to throw the agreement out will have to get court approval to do so, and there are only a few narrow circumstances, depending on the family laws of the state in which the prenup was created.

For example, if one spouse was dishonest about his or her assets in an attempt to hide a significant portion of their wealth from their husband or wife, the judge may find that the prenup was created through fraud and is therefore null and void. Similarly, if the judge finds that one spouse was coerced into signing the prenup or that the agreement contains unenforceable provisions, it may be thrown out.

However, the threshold for all of these conditions is fairly high, so the spouse who is attempting to nullify the prenup will have to show proof of significant harm in order for the judge to throw the agreement out.

Source: Reuters, "Breaking up is hard to do, breaking prenup is harder," Geoff Williams, Oct. 5, 2012

At our Georgia family law firm, we help couples who wish to draft, revise or break premarital contracts. To learn more, please visit our divorce page.

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