Many people when they decide they want a prenuptial agreement view it as a way to make sure they can get everything they want from a divorce before they marry. Often, we have couples come to us, where one of the soon to be spouses has already outlined an agreement providing they get everything if there were ever to be a separation or divorce. Because the other future spouse is in love, they often go along with the agreement without questioning it.
To be valid, both parties have to enter into a prenuptial agreement with full knowledge of the other’s assets, property, debts, and rights. In addition, the agreement must be entered into voluntarily without fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching.
Ohio strictly enforces the legal requirements for a prenuptial agreement to be upheld. For example, if either spouse keeps assets from the other or does not provide a full list of the assets, the prenuptial agreement shall probably not be upheld.
Additionally, if either spouse misrepresents his or her income or capacity to earn income, the prenuptial agreement shall probably be deemed unenforceable. For example, an Ohio court held a prenuptial agreement invalid when the agreement stated a doctor had an annual income of over $200,000, when in fact he had average annual income of approximately $1,000,0000. The court found the income declaration was misleading and the misrepresentation was made to insulate the spouse from paying support.
Furthermore, the length of time before the wedding and when the agreement is signed can make a difference. If there is any indication that one spouse signed the agreement because they felt pressured and coerced into signing it, it would most likely be invalidated. Generally, a prenuptial agreement is more likely to be enforced if the agreement is equitable to both parties and accurately sets forth the parties’ circumstances on the day it is signed.
The main reason people enter into a prenuptial agreement is to save them money if they were ever to get a divorce. However, unless you follow Ohio’s strict requirements, it is likely you shall spend a considerable amount of money trying to uphold an agreement the court is likely going to find is not enforceable.
Please continue to visit our website or schedule a consultation should you desire to know more about a prenuptial agreement.