For any Minnesotan with high assets, an advance financial agreement may be a wise option prior to starting a first, second, or even third marriage. For many individuals, a prenuptial agreement is more than just a way to protect one party’s assets — it can often avoid long, costly divorce disputes. On the other side of the spectrum, people may feel cheated after signing a prenuptial agreement. One woman felt that way after her husband allegedly forced her to sign a prenuptial agreement four days before their wedding.
The couple was originally married in 1998. Prior to their wedding, the husband-to-be allegedly made his fiancée sign a prenuptial agreement that might limit her share of his $20 million dollar fortune. The woman claimed that her husband said he would rip up the agreement after they had kids. Three children later, the agreement was never ripped up. For the last seven years since the couple separated, the ex-wife has been attempting to get the prenuptial agreement revoked.
After years of fighting, the woman finally got the prenuptial agreement revoked when an appellate court panel ruled unanimously that the ex-husband fraudulently induced her to sign the agreement. Under certain circumstances, a court may decide that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable. In this case, which took place in a different state, the court set new law by deciding that a verbal agreement could invalidate a signed prenuptial agreement.
Because a variety of factors can influence the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement, any Minnesotan considering entering into a high asset marriage should consider seeking the help of a reputable family law attorney. As this story illustrates, a single case can change state law. An experienced divorce attorney can provide clients with sound and current legal advice.
Source: Business Insider, “Millionaire’s Estranged Wife Gets Court To Rip Up The Prenup She Signed Days Before The Wedding,” Ashley Lutz, March 11, 2013.