Many Minnesota couples have considered signing a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. For many, a prenup is a great way for each spouse to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. It can also protect a spouse from assuming the debts of the other spouse. Once a prenup is signed by both parties, it is practically set in stone. In most cases the agreement cannot be set aside but one woman successfully persuaded a court to do just that.
Prior to the couple’s 1998 wedding, the woman was persuaded to sign the prenuptial agreement by her soon-to-be husband four days before their wedding. The husband refused to wed the woman unless she signed the document. Terminating the wedding would mean that her father would lose out on $40,000 that he had already spent on the wedding. More significantly, the woman’s fiancé promised he would rip up the prenup, and also put the woman’s name on the deed to their home, once the couple had children. But even after couple had three children, the prenup was never torn up and the woman’s name was still not on the deed. The 39-year-old woman ultimately took her husband to court in the hopes of having the document declared unenforceable due to the husband’s breach of his oral promise.
After protracted litigation, the court found the prenup was fraudulently induced due to the husband’s false promises. The court ruled the prenup was unenforceable because at the time the husband made the promise to destroy the agreement once the couple had children, he had no intention of keeping his promise. Observers have referred to the case as a landmark decision.
Any Minnesota couple considering a prenuptial agreement should seek help from a qualified attorney to ensure that the agreement will be binding. Prenuptial agreements are valid only if they are entered into freely, without fraudulent inducement and with full disclosure of assets by both parties.
Source: LongIsland.com, “Long Island Woman Wins Battle over Prenup with Millionaire,” Wendy L, March 15, 2013