How to void a pre-nuptial agreement?

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How to void a pre-nuptial agreement?

I asked my husband to sign a pre-nup when we got married in NY. I don’t want to be in effect anymore. How do I get it voided?

Asked on July 26, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You can only void--or otherwise cancel--an agreement like this in the following ways:

1) By mutual agreement; if the two of you want to cancel it, you can.

2) If you can show that there was fraud on the part of your husband in terms of either inducing your to sign the agreement or in representing the contents and effect of the agreement. However, that is unlikely unless you can show that he knowingly lied about the agreement--but you write that you, not him, were the driving force behind it.

3) You can show that either you or your husband lacked legal capacity (e.g. mentally ill, underage) at the time the agreement was executed.

4) You can show that the agreement as written does not actually reflect the intentions of or agreement between the two of you--basically, that there is some significant error in the agreement that you and your husband did not have the chance to catch in the signing. If so, a court will probably not  strike down the agreement entirely, but may rewrite it to reflect the correct understanding.

5) If the marriage itself is voided (e.g. annulled, not divorce) due to some significant problem with it, like lies about wanting to have children, underage, mentally infirm at the time of marriage, was still in a prior marriage at the time, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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