Jump to Navigation

Which types of clauses might be found invalid in a prenuptial?

Some clauses can doom a prenuptial agreement in court if they are too lopsided, preposterous or contrary to public policy.

Prenuptial agreements in Colorado may be found invalid for a variety of reasons. For example, perhaps one party did not have sufficient legal representation or sufficient knowledge of the other party's financial assets before signing. Perhaps one spouse felt pressured to sign it; maybe the agreement was sprung on them at the last minute.

In some cases, an agreement could also be found invalid because it has clauses that are drastically unfair or ludicrous in the eyes of the court. Here is a look at some examples.

No child support

Some couples agree to sign prenuptials that say one spouse would not have to pay the other spouse child support for children borne of the marriage. This type of clause is generally not enforceable because it runs afoul of public policy. Each child deserves to have financial support from both parents when possible, so a court is not going to validate such a clause, particularly if it means the custodial parent would have to rely on government financial programs. (On the other hand, it is possible to successfully waive spousal maintenance in some cases.)

Lifestyle provisions

Lifestyle clauses on topics such as weight gain, frequency of sex and visiting guests will likely not be considered enforceable or relevant to the agreement. For example, if Spouse A and Spouse B agree that Spouse A's parents will never be allowed to stay overnight and that Spouse B will not gain more than 50 pounds, neither provision is probably going to be accepted as a reason why A or B should give up their rights to marital property in the eventuality of a divorce.

Lopsided in favor of one spouse

An agreement with clauses that that overwhelmingly favor one spouse could be deemed invalid. Say that Spouse X agrees to forfeit the right to seek spousal maintenance and any assets. Spouse Y gets to keep everything.

If that means Spouse X could emerge from the divorce virtually homeless and penniless, a judge may not look kindly onto this provision. It is not fair to Spouse X to have to struggle greatly while Spouse Y has a nice house and lots of money. It would probably be government services and programs that would have to help Spouse X, which does not make sense when a fair agreement between the spouses would prevent such a problem.

That is not to say that lopsided clauses or agreements will always get thrown out. They can prevail in many cases as long as both spouses are in a minimal financial position after the divorce. The bottom line is that one spouse should not be in poverty while the other is living rich on marital income and assets.

Both spouses should have legal representation looking out for pitfalls and their best interests. Colorado residents seeking a prenuptial should contact a lawyer separate from the one their spouse has retained.

Watch More Videos

Follow Us On

Facebook Twitter

The Moller Law Group, LLC
665 Southpointe Ct Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Phone: 719-694-1284
Toll Free: 866-765-0858
Fax: 719-687-2378
Colorado Springs Law Office Map

The Moller Law Group, LLC
18401 E. Hwy. 24 Suite 122 Woodland Park, CO 80863

Phone: 719-694-1284
Toll Free: 866-765-0858
Fax: 719-687-2378
Woodland Park Law Office Map

Visa | Master Card | Discover Network