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Can You Break a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you follow celebrity divorces, you have probably heard of the term "iron-clad prenup" used to describe the strict terms of a couple's agreement. The specter of such rigid contracts, along with potentially devastating consequences can lead some people to feel trapped in a marriage because they believe that the prenup will leave them penniless after the divorce.

Regardless of the fears that may arise, Ohio courts view prenuptial agreements like any other contract, and several defenses can be raised to overturn the agreement. If you are regretting the prenup you signed, the following circumstances may be helpful.

Your spouse wasn't honest about assets - Both parties must be truthful in disclosing all the assets in their possession when signing the agreement. The failure of one party to disclose assets may lead a court to void the agreement.

You signed the agreement under duress - People who sign prenups must do so freely and willingly. Essentially, if you were coerced into signing the prenup, you could have it overturned. However, there must be more than just mere inconvenience or lack of tact when it comes to coercion or duress. A court may also consider when you were presented with the agreement. If the prenup was presented on your wedding day, for example, that could be troubling.

Some of the provisions are contrary to Ohio law - The agreement must be enforceable under Ohio law. Provisions dictating child support, for example, are not enforceable since support orders can only be issued by the court.

If you have questions about whether your prenup could be challenged in court, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

Source: Reuters.com, Breaking up is hard to do, breaking prenups is harder, October 5, 2012

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