When is a premarital agreement unenforceable?

For South Carolina couples who are preparing for marriage, a premarital agreement is often part of the process. This is not done with the expectation that the marriage will fail and the couple will divorce, but is so one or both parties are protected from losing various assets and properties. There are circumstances when there is a premarital agreement, but that agreement is unenforceable because a legal violation took place. With these complicated legal circumstances, it is imperative to have a qualified lawyer assess the case.

It is unfortunate that many marriages end in divorce. It is also unfortunate that people who agreed to a premarital agreement – also referred to as a prenuptial agreement – will believe that the document was unfair and want it invalidated. Understanding when it is possible to deem the document unenforceable is crucial for both sides.

The premarital agreement is unenforceable if the agreement was not made voluntarily. If it was unconscionable – unfair – when it was executed and prior to it being executed, the party who wants it declared invalid must show the following: they did not have a fair disclosure of the financial obligations or the property of the other individual; they did not agree, in writing, to waive a right to disclosure or financial obligations beyond what was provided; and they did not or could not have had knowledge of these matters.

In cases where the agreement stipulates there will be no spousal support or it can be modified and that will cause the other person to be eligible for public assistance, the court can require the support be paid to avoid the eligibility. The court will determine if the agreement was unfair based on applicable law. For people who are divorcing and had a premarital agreement, the validity of the agreement might be scrutinized. When trying to validate or invalidate an agreement, legal help from a divorce attorney is essential.