Contesting a Prenup in Ohio: Steps and Legal Considerations

Prenuptial agreements, also known as Antenuptial Agreements, “prenups,” or “prenupts,” are legal contracts that couples sign before getting married. These agreements outline how assets and debts will be divided if the couple gets divorced. However, Prenuptial Agreements are only valid and enforceable if they meet specific legal requirements.

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To contest a prenuptial agreement, it generally happens at the end of the marriage during a divorce action. The court would then examine the prenuptial agreement for any irregularities in its drafting, the signature, or equitable considerations such as whether there was a full disclosure of all assets and obligations. Courts now take a very expansive view of equity, meaning if there was a waiver of spousal support in the prenuptial agreement, they would only address whether it would be fair and equitable at the time of the marriage’s end. To contest it, one would look at irregularities and basic terms of equity that every Domestic Relations Court will consider during the termination of a marriage.

Want to know more about Prenuptial Agreements in Ohio? Call Dungan & LeFevre now.

What Makes a Prenup Valid?

In Ohio, for a prenup to be valid, it must:

  • Have been entered into freely, without any fraud, duress, coercion, or unfair advantage taken by one party.
  • Involve full disclosure and understanding of each person’s property, assets, and financial situation.
  • Not encourage or promote divorce or try to profit from it.

Additionally, any provisions in the prenup related to alimony or spousal support must be “conscionable” (fair and reasonable) at the time of the divorce.

What Can’t a Prenup Do?

There are also certain things a prenup cannot do, such as predetermine child custody or support arrangements.

These are issues that must be decided through the termination of the marriage process.

Prenups Divide Shared Property

A prenup can have a substantive effect when it defines what will happen to assets and obligations accumulated during the marriage.

Without a prenup, the general rule is that anything you acquire or owe during the marriage is considered “marital property.” It is subject to equitable division between the spouses in a divorce, even if it’s only in one person’s name.

How a Prenup Affects Property Division

But a prenup can change this. It can state that certain things you earn or acquire during the marriage are considered “separate property” instead of “marital property.”

This means they would belong solely to the spouse who earned or acquired them and wouldn’t get divided in a divorce. So, if you buy a house just in your name during the marriage using funds that were ‘separate’ by the terms of the Prenuptial Agreement, that house would be your separate property instead of something that has to be split with your spouse in a divorce.

Get Help With Your Prenup Needs in Ohio

If you believe your Prenuptial Agreement does not meet these legal requirements, you may be able to contest or challenge it in court during your divorce proceedings.

The process of contesting a Prenuptial Agreement can be complex, so working with an experienced family law attorney in Ohio is essential.

Dungan & LeFevre are here to answer your questions. Call (937) 339-0511 or fill out our online form to get in touch with a family law attorney.

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Whatever your demands, Dungan & LeFevre is the full-service law firm you need. We can help you explore your options, guide you through challenges, and represent you in court. You can rely on our experience and knowledge to steer you to your best decision for the most reasonable price. Get started with a consultation.