Most experienced divorce attorneys in Indiana will urge their clients to sign a premarital agreement before they marry (or re-marry). Such agreements are binding contracts and cover such issues as spousal support, attorney fees, and property division.
Generally, these agreements are enforceable serve their intended purposes by reducing or eliminating the stress and anger that often accompanies a divorce. But sometimes, as discussed below, the premarital agreement may not be enforceable at all.
A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. A premarital agreement that fails to satisfy these standards may be held to be invalid and unenforceable by a judge. It is wise to have your premarital agreement drafted by an experienced attorney who is familiar with these formal requirements, as well as other important considerations such as the timing of executing such an agreement.
Grounds to challenge – time of execution
A prenuptial agreement must be executed voluntarily, and the agreement cannot be unconscionable when executed. These are legal grounds and the facts surrounding such a determination are unique. An experienced attorney can discuss each with you, in detail.
Grounds to challenge – time of enforcement
A premarital agreement may also be unenforceable if it modifies or limits the ability of one spouse to obtain spousal maintenance, and due to circumstances not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the execution of the agreement it would cause extreme hardship to that spouse. Like the other grounds discussed in this post, this is a very fact sensitive inquiry, and is best discussed with an experienced family law attorney.
If you are considering entering into a premarital agreement or questioning the validity of a previously executed agreement, the experienced attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer can answer your questions and help you decide how to proceed.