Invalidating divorce in va
You can sign away your right to spousal support if you should end up in divorce court, even if your spouse makes ten times as much money as you do.
You can even agree that your spouse gets all of the property and you get all of the bills, if that is what you want to do.
It should not be surprising, therefore, that a great deal of postjudgment motions are filed seeking to set aside or reopen the decree. 1993) (husband's alleged statements to wife that his financial condition was bad and that she would receive all he could afford were mere expressions of opinion).
But the outcome in these proceedings is often difficult to predict. Alternatively, if the proof supports it, counsel might argue that his client did not know, or have reason to know, that the representations were false.
629 (1983) (husband's failure to disclose savings account prevented wife from receiving a fair adversary hearing and deprived her of the opportunity to present her case); Ridgway v. The law did not require her to engage her own expert to value the husband's interests, the court said. Under these facts, the court held, there was no fiduciary relationship between the parties as a matter of law, and they were dealing at arm's length.
Some courts, however, have taken the view that a spouse's failure to disclose the existence of marital assets does not constitute extrinsic fraud so as to allow relief from a judgment dividing property. Other cases which have rejected claims based on misstatements about asset values include De Claire v. For example, Maine's high court held that a complaint alleging that the husband led the wife to believe that the marital estate totaled million, when he knew that the parties had accumulated million during the marriage, stated a claim for fraud and deceit. The wife's reliance on the husband's valuation was not unreasonable, the court decided, because she had no knowledge of the husband's business affairs, which were quite complex. For example, in a recent Oregon case holding that a settlement agreement could not be set aside because of the husband's alleged failure to disclose the value of his pension, the court emphasized that at the time when the parties agreed on the division of their property, the wife had moved to another city, had begun cohabiting with a companion, and was completely financially independent of the husband.
However, prenups have to be done right in order to be valid in your state.
Let's take a look at the top 10 reasons why a prenuptial agreement might be invalid. No Written Agreement: Premarital agreements must be in writing to be enforceable. Not Properly Executed: Both parties must sign a premarital agreement before the wedding in order for the agreement to be considered valid. You Were Pressured: A premarital agreement may not be valid if one of the spouses was pressured by the other (or by his or her lawyer or family) to sign the agreement. You Didn't Read It: If your spouse-to-be puts a bunch of papers in front of you, including a premarital agreement, and asks you to sign them quickly, the premarital agreement may not be enforceable if you sign it without reading it. No Time For Consideration: A prospective spouse entering into a premarital agreement must be given time to review it and think it over before signing it.
The court in Selke rejected the argument that such disclosure is necessary to permit the court to accomplish its statutory duty to divide property in a just and reasonable manner. Ratarsky, supra (no extrinsic fraud where husband disclosed existence of life insurance policies but not their cash surrender value, and wife's attorney did not ask about their value or examine the policies). E.2d 55 (1993) (existence of a special relationship that imposes a continuing duty of trust in settlement negotiations depends on the specific facts of each case). The fact that the spouse seeking relief was represented by counsel in the dissolution proceeding has been cited as evidence that the spouse did not rely on the misrepresentations, or that the spouse's reliance was unreasonable. Despain, supra (no reasonable reliance because wife was represented by able counsel).
For example, an Illinois appeals court held that a husband did not commit fraud by failing to disclose a profit-sharing plan, where he did not intend to deceive the wife and she could have discovered information about his financial status on her own but failed to do so. 1989) (property settlement not voidable merely because one spouse was not represented by counsel). According to one view, a motion in the dissolution action is the only mechanism for seeking relief based on fraud.
Another view is that each spouse has a duty to inquire about the value of assets and/or to conduct an independent examination of the assets. 60(b), which authorizes relief based on fraud, or an independent action alleging fraud.
But if the agreement is so grossly unfair that one party would face severe financial hardship while the other prospered, the court is unlikely to enforce it.
Basically, "unconscionable" contracts are generally found invalid, and premarital agreements are no exception.
Many a spouse winds up feeling cheated after the dust settles which was raised by the marriage dissolution proceedings. E.2d 867 (1981) (no relief for a "misunderstanding of the facts"; instead, evidence to support a petition based on fraud must establish that husband made the representation knowing it was false); Davidson v. Another approach would be to characterize any misrepresentation or omission as a mistake or oversight made without intent to deceive. Extrinsic fraud is usually characterized as fraud on the court, while intrinsic fraud is the less serious evil of fraud committed against a party. ___, 862 P.2d 1128 (1993) (failure to disclose pension to the trial court did not rise to the level of extrinsic fraud upon the court, where wife herself knew about pension and was represented by counsel); Lee v. The court adopted a broader definition of fraud on the court: an intentional course of material misrepresentation that misled the court and counsel and made the property settlement grossly unfair.