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When Challenges Occur to Prenuptial (Antenuptial) Agreements

Prenuptial agreements (called antenuptial agreements in Minnesota) are useful tools for setting some general “ground rules” of a marriage and agreeing beforehand on how assets and liabilities would be distributed in the event of divorce. However, there are some circumstances in which one person might challenge the validity of the agreement during a divorce. This could result in some difficulty enforcing the agreement’s terms.

The following are some circumstances in which a challenge to a prenuptial agreement could occur:

  • The agreement conflicts with state law: If the agreement violates or conflicts with certain state laws, then the agreement (or parts of the agreement) may not be enforceable.
  • Lack of disclosure: All assets and debts must be disclosed before the antenuptial agreement is finalized. If any hidden assets or debts come up during the course of the divorce, this could violate the antenuptial agreement and render it invalid.
  • Coercion: If one party was coerced or otherwise unwilling to enter into the antenuptial agreement of their own volition, the agreement would be considered invalid, as both parties must enter into the contract willingly.
  • Morals clauses: Some antenuptial agreements contain morals clauses, in which issues such as infidelity could affect the divorce or invalidate the antenuptial agreement.

It is crucial to work with an experienced attorney who understands Minnesota divorce law and will not recommend any elements of the agreement that could potentially conflict with state law or leave any loopholes open. For more information on how to establish a strong prenuptial (antenuptial) agreement and what to do if an agreement gets challenged, consult a trusted Minnesota divorce lawyer with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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