A premarital agreement in Minnesota is a contract that you and your spouse enter into in consideration of marriage. A prenuptial or premarital agreement will help to protect your personal assets and property, as well as your future income, by outlining what will happen in the event that you and your spouse divorce in the future. The premarital agreement can save you money, protect your assets and make your divorce easier and less stressful if you and your spouse decide to split up.
For a premarital agreement to have all of these benefits, however, the agreement must be enforced at the time when you divorce. A valid prenuptial agreement almost always will be enforced, but you need to be careful when creating the agreement to ensure that you follow all the requirements necessary for the agreement to be considered valid.
A Premarital Agreement Can Be Invalidated
A premarital agreement can be invalidated if there was a problem in the creation of the contract.
First and foremost, the premarital agreement must be in writing in order for it to be valid. No oral contracts will be considered valid as a prenuptial agreement.
The agreement also must not be entered into under conditions that suggest fraud or duress. For example, if you coerced your spouse into signing the agreement using threats, then the agreement will not be valid. Likewise, if you presented the agreement to your spouse a few minutes before the wedding and insisted that he or she sign it or the wedding would be called off, this would be a clear example of a situation where the agreement was signed under duress.
To ensure that there is no potential accusation in the future of your agreement being signed under conditions of duress, you should be sure to negotiate the agreement in plenty of time and well in advance of the actual date of the wedding. Give your spouse the time and opportunity to get the agreement looked over by a professional attorney. Your agreement, of course, should also be prepared by an experienced divorce and family law attorney to ensure that it is drafted properly and written and signed in a way that it will be enforceable.
You also need to make sure that your spouse is aware of your assets and income prior to signing the agreement. Being dishonest about any aspect of your financial situation could lead to an accusation that the premarital agreement was entered into under fraudulent circumstances. This, too, could invalidate the agreement and make the agreement unenforceable.
Provided you are honest, give your spouse time to read and understand the agreement, and have a qualified attorney representing you and helping you to ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken, your agreement should be enforced at the time of your divorce.