Maryland property division: Prenups should be thoroughly reviewed

Maryland residents who go through divorce often find themselves at odds over how to divvy up the assets that a couple shares. In most cases, having a prenuptial agreement in effect will dictate the terms of property division once a couple does decide to divorce. In some rare cases, however, a court will rule that a prenuptial agreement should be invalidated. This is the case for one couple who married in another state and ultimately had a court rule its prenup as being invalid.

This is an extremely rare phenomenon. In the specific case, the court ruled the prenup invalid because the husband had apparently used fraudulent means of convincing his wife to sign the agreement. At first, she refused to sign the prenup that would award her only $25,000 for every year they remained married. She eventually agreed to sign after her husband verbally promised that he would rip up the agreement once the two had children.

However, once the couple had three children and yet refused to rip up the prenuptial agreement, the woman says that she became unhappy in the marriage, knowing that she was married to someone who continued not to trust her. After the couple began their divorce proceedings, she decided to fight the prenuptial agreement on the grounds that the husband had lied to her about ripping it up once they had children. Ultimately, the court sided with her that he had fraudulently induced her to sign the prenuptial agreement.

Most Maryland couples who have a prenuptial agreement and go through property division will not have to worry about having the prenup invalidated, as occurred in this case. Both spouses need to be sure that they fully understand what they are agreeing to when they sign, and that each has adequate time to review the agreement before signing. This can help ensure that a court will uphold the prenuptial agreement once the couple begins the property division process.

Source: ABC News, "Long Island Woman Wins 'Groundbreaking' Prenup Battle," March 12, 2013