Prenuptial agreements are binding contracts under Pennsylvania law. Of course, circumstances change. Your marital and financial situation may be much different now than you anticipated when you signed your prenup.
There are several options available if you believe that your prenuptial agreement is unfair or no longer represents your situation.
Modify the prenuptial agreement
In most cases, you may modify your prenuptial agreement by drafting an amendment that lists the changes you want to make. Both you and your spouse must agree to the changes and sign the amendment.
Invalidate the prenuptial agreement
What if you want to make changes to your prenup, but your spouse does not agree to those changes? Pennsylvania courts presume that prenuptial agreements are valid, with very few exceptions. To render your prenup unenforceable, you must prove one of these things:
- You did not voluntarily sign the agreement; instead, someone forced you to sign against your will or tricked or coerced you into signing.
- The agreement is unconscionable because your spouse did not fully disclose all his or her debts and assets. In this case, you must also prove that you did not know about the undisclosed assets or debts. This option is not available if you signed a waiver of your right to disclosure.
Draft a postnuptial agreement
You and your spouse may create a postnuptial agreement. A postnup can change or override some parts of the prenup. If you determined that your prenup is invalid, you may wish to enter into a valid postnuptial agreement to address your concerns and protect your assets.
While there are some ways to escape a bad prenup, do not take these agreements lightly. Courts urge couples to ensure that an agreement is fair and adequate before signing.