New Hampshire Prenuptial Agreement Laws
There is some question over whether states recognize premarital agreement as valid documents. The state of New Hampshire does abide by prenuptial agreement when the court believes that they are fair and entered into without being coerced. Under New Hampshire's property settlement divorce law RSA 485:16-a, property can be divided in a divorce as it is “allocated by a valid prenuptial contract made in good faith by the parties.”
New Hampshire courts can, however, overrule a prenuptial agreement if it is believed to be invalid. A pre-marital agreement in the state is generally found invalid if any of the following can be proven:
- The agreement was entered into under duress, heavy influence or through fraud: This can occur if one party was threatened into signing the document, not given a chance to read it, or signed it immediately before the wedding. Any sign that one party was tricked or highly pressured into signing can be grounds for the contract to be ruled invalid.
- One party fails to disclose a material fact to the other before signing the document: This can result if one party did not disclose all of their assets, income, or any other pertinent information.
- The agreement is unconscious or unfair: This may occur if the agreement is uneven as in one party is awarded almost everything and the other is left with nothing.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement in New Hampshire?
A prenuptial agreement is a document that is signed by two parties before they enter into a marriage. The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement, often known as a ‘prenup' for short, is to specify what will happen in the event of divorce or the death of one party. They often have clauses pertaining to the following:
- To make sure assets are divided a certain way
- To make sure inheritances are given to specific parties
- To make sure children from prior marriages are taken care of in the event of death
The idea of signing a contract before marriage is that, in the event of a death or divorce, litigation will not be necessary because the parties have already decided how they will divide their assets and what types of support payments will be made. A prenuptial agreement can only be made before the marriage is finalized. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be honored, it must be willfully agree upon by both parties. In most cases, lawyers should be present for both sides and no evidence of pressure or fraud can be involved. In many cases, a prenuptial contract with face strict scrutiny, so the language and terms used in the document must be very clear and specific.
Call a New Hampshire Family Lawyer Now
If you have questions about prenuptial agreements and would like to know more about the laws surrounding them, contact our office to speak to Attorney Kaufold or Attorney Fenniman.