Written by Anthony Piccirilli
While prenuptial agreements are something we hear about in TV shows and movies, they are genuine legal documents. Not only do they protect assets, but they also protect spouses from being taken advantage of during a divorce.
However, for them to be executed appropriately, both parties must be honest about their property. If someone lies while drafting a prenup, there can be severe consequences.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” for short, is a legal contract created by two people before they enter into a marriage or de facto union. It lists all the property each person owns and any debts before marriage and specifies what they are entitled to after a marriage ends.
Postnuptial agreements are also available in Pennsylvania, but they are not required. These agreements occur after marriage and specify what property will be considered separate in the event of a divorce.
What are the Penalties for Falsifying a Prenuptial?
Prenups are legally binding contracts. So, whether you are arguing to keep your assets or arguing for entitlement to some in the event of a separation, the court expects you to be 100% transparent.
This means that if you or your spouse lie about hidden assets, hidden accounts, debts, or legal issues, you are guilty of perjury and submitting a falsified court document. And with it comes serious consequences, including the following:
- Voiding of the document – The court could rule that the document is no longer legally binding.
- Loss of financial protection – You could start a lawsuit against your spouse; anything they have could be fair game.
- Surrendering of assets – If the court learns that your spouse lied during the prenup after assets have been divided, you might have a portion or all of what you divided returned to you.
- Fines or jail time –The worst consequences are fines or being sent to prison. Plus, these can happen on top of the ones listed above.
How Can I Prove My Spouse Lied When Drafting Our Prenup?
If you think your spouse falsified evidence when the prenup was drafted, you must prove it to the court. Here are some steps you can take to find the information that you need.
- Conduct a Document Review – Compare the information about specific items on specific disclosures with the information included on statements and other documents about the assets and debts.
- Conduct a Discovery – Hire a family law attorney skilled in litigation who knows how to produce certain documents relevant to the proceedings.
- Hire a Private Investigator – A private investigator will know how to dig into your spouse’s documents or follow them to prove they are lying.
What if I Lied When Drafting Our Prenup?
This might sound odd, but sometimes people feel they need to lie during the drafting process. This could be because of abuse or manipulation by their spouse.
If you feel your spouse manipulated you into drafting a prenup that favors them, hire a lawyer immediately and have them guide you through the process of how you can prove your spouse is behind the lies to the court. The evidence collection might be tricky, but an experienced attorney will know what specific things you need.
Call the Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, Team Today
By working with a Pittsburgh prenuptial attorney, you can avoid mistakes and ensure the final product is an arrangement that is best for both parties. For more information on prenuptial agreements in Pennsylvania, contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC.