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Protect yourself from being taken advantage of with prenuptial agreement, P.2

We mentioned in our last post that one of the ways an individual could be taken advantage of in prenuptial agreement negotiations is by unconscionable agreement terms. By unconscionable is meant terms to which a party did not voluntarily agree, or terms to which a party did agree, but without sufficient information.

In cases where a party did voluntarily agree to the terms of the agreement, he or she is only able to have the agreement struck down if it can be shown that there was not fair and reasonable disclosure of property or financial obligations, there was no voluntary and express waiver of the right to disclosure, and the party did not and could not reasonably have had, sufficient knowledge of the information. 

Essentially, unconscionability refers to situations where a party coerces an agreement or hides assets from the other in an effort to exclude those assets from consideration in the prenuptial agreement. Hiding assets can be done in a number of ways, and it isn’t easy to determine when there may be hidden assets in the negotiation process.

An experienced advocate representing a party in prenuptial negotiations will be careful to take appropriate steps to ensure, as far as possible, that all information about the couple’s assets is disclosed, and that the client has the ability to carefully consider all the financial information and any proposed terms of the prenuptial agreement. An experienced legal advocate will also know what steps to take if the marriage fails and it becomes evident that the agreement contains unconscionable terms. 

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