Is my prenuptial agreement valid?

Whether you're the one who stands to benefit from an Ohio prenuptial agreement - or the one who stands to be harmed - if you're heading for divorce, you probably want to gain a sense of how strong your prenuptial agreement is. In other words, will your prenuptial agreement hold water in court?

In the state of Ohio, we refer to prenuptial agreements by the term "antenuptial agreements." Although these agreements are legally permitted under Ohio family law, they are not always valid.

Factors that determine the validity of an Ohio prenuptial agreement

Here are a few factors that could affect the validity of an antenuptial agreement in our state:

  • The terms set forth in the antenuptial agreement must not be construed to encourage divorce.
  • Neither party who signed the antenuptial agreement was coerced, defrauded or placed under duress in connection with the signing of the agreement.
  • The antenuptial agreement must include full disclosure of both spouse's property and debts.
  • The parties were presented with the antenuptial agreement and ultimately signed the agreement well in advance of the date of marriage.
  • The parties had the opportunity to review and understand the terms of the antenuptial agreement by consulting with independently retained legal counsel.
  • The antenuptial agreement must be fair to both parties. If a judge determines that the terms of the agreement were unreasonable or took advantage of one side of the marriage, the agreement could be invalidated in its entirety.
  • Both parties must be of sound mind when they sign the antenuptial agreement. In other words, the parties cannot suffer from cognitive deficiencies and they cannot be intoxicated while executing the document.

Learn more about Ohio family law and antenuptial agreements

Divorcing Ohio spouses who need to (1) evaluate the validity of a prenuptial agreement, (2) contest a prenuptial agreement in court, or (3) defend a prenuptial agreement, might want to devote some time to studying the agreement in more detail. The strength of the spouse's legal position will largely depend on their marital history, the terms laid out in the antenuptial agreement and Ohio family law.

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