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Reasons not to sign a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements can be very important in establishing what rights spouses have in the event of a Virginia divorce. However, there are some circumstances in which you may not want to sign on the dotted line just yet. According to Findlaw, a prenuptial agreement may contain provisions that could render it invalid in a court of law. At the very least, you want to be able to examine any prenuptial agreement for provisions that could harm you or put you at a disadvantage.

First, it is advisable for a spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement only with the presence of an attorney. While not all states require a spouse to retain legal representation, the fact is not everyone fully understands how to protect their interests in a prenuptial agreement, so signing an agreement without the proper legal advice can put one at a disadvantage later on. If a court does deem the agreement to be unfair due to lack of legal representation, the prenuptial may be tossed out.

Courts also frown on provisions that are deemed unconscionable. If a prenuptial agreement stacks the deck in favor of one spouse over another and does so unfairly, a judge is not likely to enforce it. For example, a prenup may waive one spouse from providing financial support to the other even if the first spouse makes much more money. Some prenuptials can leave a spouse with all the property from the marriage. Signing a prenup with such provisions may be a waste of time as a judge will not enforce it.

You or another spouse should also not sign a prenup if the papers are put before you and you are urged to sign them quickly. If you have not read the document before signing it, a judge may deem the agreement unenforceable. Similarly, a judge may decide not to enforce an agreement if it is made on the wedding date. Justices generally want the spouses to have been able to think over prenuptial agreements before they sign them.

Additionally, there are certain circumstances that, according to Bankrate, you or another party should not sign a prenup under. For example, if you have consumed a few alcoholic drinks, you should not sign an agreement shortly thereafter. The inebriation could make it hard for you to understand what is presented before you, causing you to sign something that you might regret later, or if you do approve of the agreement's terms, being inebriated at the signing may cause a judge to throw the agreement out. Similarly, if a spouse signs a prenuptial while pregnant, a judge might take her medical condition at the time into account if the agreement is later contested.

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