Is It Possible to Challenge Your Prenup If You Get Divorced?
A prenuptial agreement, or “antenuptial agreement” as it’s sometimes called in Michigan, is a legal agreement between spouses that clarifies how common issues like alimony and division of assets will be handled in the event of their divorce.
In the past, prenup agreements have been relatively unpopular as most couples don’t want to consider the possibility of divorce when they’re just about to get married. If a married couple does decide to divorce, however, having a prenup in place is extremely useful and can make the process somewhat smoother, though prenups aren’t always set in stone and can often be contested.
What does a prenup agreement entail in Michigan?
According to Michigan law, prenup agreements can include many legal decisions that don’t encourage divorce, including:
- Division of assets, businesses, property, and finances
- Division of retirement accounts
- Alimony (its existence within the agreement as well as payment details)
- Division of life insurance
- Plan in case one spouse dies
- Support of children from previous relationships
- Plan to create wills that include the terms of the prenup agreement
Also, according to Michigan law, one significant marital issue that cannot be included in a prenup agreement is child custody or child support payment plans. Michigan courts decide child support based upon the level of support the children require as well as the income of the parents. Since a couple cannot be sure of their future financial situation at the time of marriage, plans concerning custody or child support cannot be included in prenup agreements and can only be decided at the time of separation.
How do I know if my prenup can be challenged?
In order for a Michigan prenup to be entirely enforced during a divorce, the agreement must include a few key factors:
- It must be entered into and signed consensually and voluntarily by both parties.
- There must be full disclosure of all terms of agreement and all rights allowed to both parties.
- It must be devoid of any fraudulent behavior, outside influence, mental incapability, and forced compliance.
If your prenup agreement lacks any of these descriptors, you could have grounds for challenging your prenup during your divorce.
One of the most common examples of breaching of prenup contract is fraud. If one spouse intentionally conceals assets from the other and this action is discovered by the court, the prenup will most likely be thrown out during the divorce proceedings.
Evidence of mental incapability in one spouse can also serve as solid reasoning for the other to challenge the prenup during divorce. If one partner was affected by a mental illness or was intoxicated in some way at the time of signing, the prenup will be difficult to enforce.
Additionally, Michigan judges have been known not to enforce prenup agreements if the circumstances surrounding one or both spouses have changed in a significant way since the signing of the prenup, making the agreement unfair to the couple’s current circumstances during divorce. The judge will always analyze the current state of affairs and how they contrast from the circumstances in which the prenup was signed when deciding which parts of a prenup agreement are upholdable and which are not.
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