Blogs from January, 2021

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How Could My Prenuptial Agreement Be Voided in Iowa?


There was a time when people balked at the conversation of prenuptial agreements and discussions about what happens in a divorce. Past generations have viewed prenuptial agreements as depressingly unromantic tools of the wealthy that reduce marriage to more of a business relationship than a loving one. Cut to 2021, more and more couples marry later, and they are entering marriages with more assets than older generations of Americans. Each state treats prenuptial agreements differently, so before you start, find a legal representative who can help you determine what would be best in your situation. In Iowa, we adhere to rules from the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA.)

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a premarital contract outlining how the couple plans to manage their financing during their marriage should it end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement will define ownership and asset accumulation in the union, including debt, real estate, and investments. Like Iowa, many states have adopted the UPAA, which is used to determine a prenuptial agreement's enforceability.

When planning a prenuptial agreement, it should meet the following standards:

  • The prenuptial agreement should be written and signed by both parties.
  • Both parties should be capable of signing a legal document.
  • Minors, mentally ill persons, and the mentally disabled aren’t competent to sign a prenuptial agreement
  • The couple must be legally allowed to marry for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable.

5 Situations Where My Prenuptial Agreement Could Be Thrown Out

The court’s preference is to keep your prenuptial agreement in place, but there are circumstances where Iowa law would allow a judge to invalidate your agreement.

A prenuptial agreement can be invalidated if:

  • A party was forced or coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement.
  • The agreement would leave one of the parties impoverished to the point of qualifying for public assistance.
  • The agreement is dishonest and deemed unconscionable because a party failed to disclose assets and debts.
  • One party lied to their intended and prevented their opportunity to waive their right to disclosure of debts and assets.
  • One party lied or hid their assets and debts from their intended purposefully. 

A prenuptial agreement can be used to determine how your asset division will proceed in the event of a divorce, but it is not the final word. In Iowa, prenuptial agreements can vary in length as long as both parties sign the document. If you have specific questions regarding your unique situation, it’s best to consult with an Iowa family lawyer. 

At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, we can provide legal representation as you negotiate your premarital financial plans. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online now for information or to schedule an appointment.