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Prenuptial Agreements Generally Valid

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Prenuptial agreements first came into play in the 1960s and 1970s, but have only recently become more common and have entered the legal arena upon increasingly common divorce litigation.  While many divorcing couples want to argue that their prenuptial agreements are now invalid and should not be enforced, many states are ruling in favor of upholding the agreement unless it was entered into involuntarily, was unconscionable, or was entered into without full disclosure of both parties' financial situations.  These circumstances are rare however and even when an argument can be made that such an agreement is still "unfair" to one of the parties, courts are generally inclined to enforce these contracts that were entered into voluntarily between two consenting adults.  Even if those parties made bad decisions that they now realize in hindsight should have been different, the agreement is still a contract and should be enforced as such.  A New York appellate court ruled in Gottlieb v. Gottlieb exactly this - the wife cannot argue now that the contract was entered unfairly because her fiance at the time refused to marry her unless she signed the agreement, and even though she was pregnant at the time and felt forced to sign.  Since the wife still chose to sign when she could have chosen not to, even callous behavior on the part of the husband will not render a prenuptial agreement void.

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