A prenuptial agreement is an agreement, or contract, entered into before marriage. It is usually created to resolve issues of support and property division if the marriage ends in divorce or by death of one of the spouses. Prenuptial agreements are sometimes referred to as antenuptial agreements or "prenups."
What Is the Effect of Failing to Disclose Assets on a Prenuptial Agreement?
If you or your spouse failed to disclose assets, it is possible that your prenuptial agreement will be void. That means it will be put aside and not enforced by a court. In order to prove that a prenuptial agreement should be void for a failure to disclose assets, you will have to prove:
- A confidential relationship existed between you and your partner,
- The relationship gave rise to a duty to fully and fairly disclose each of your assets, and
- One of you breached the duty to disclose.
What Acts Equal a Breached Duty to Disclose Assets?
Acts that qualify for a failure to disclose assets, and can void a prenuptial agreement include:
- Failing to make any disclosure whatsoever
- Understating assets
- Failing to explain the nature or value of assets
Are There Any Defenses?
There are several defenses if one person is trying to void a prenuptial agreement because of a failure to disclose. They can include:
- No confidential relationship existed,
- A full and fair disclosure of assets was made,
- The person challenging the prenuptial agreement had an independent knowledge of the other person's assets,
- The prenuptial agreement contains a method to deal with similar disputes,
- The prenuptial agreement was ratified by the person now challenging it,
- The challenge was not timely, or
- Either party abandoned the prenuptial agreement.
Do I Need an Family Lawyer?
If you or your former spouse is trying to void a prenuptial agreement because one of you failed to disclose some of your assets, it is highly recommended for you to contact a family law attorney. Only they will be able to fully explain the issues and help protect your rights.