Can a Parent Make their Child’s Fiance Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

Can a Parent Make their Child’s Fiance Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

When two people get married, they sometimes choose to combine their assets with one another. Alternatively, some spouses may wish to keep their assets separate in the event of a divorce. To do this, they can sign a prenuptial agreement. Also known as a “prenup”, this is a contract between two future spouses that determines the division of their properties in the event of divorce. In the state of New York, this is signed by both individuals before the marriage occurs.

Can Parents Force You to Get a Prenup?

It is fairly common for a couple’s parents to get involved in their marriage and lives leading up to a wedding. When looking ahead into the future, some parents may wish to ensure what they believe is best for their child. Sometimes, a family may have an inheritance, business, or property that is passed down in the family for generations. In these situations, a family may want the asset(s) to stay within their family and divided with an ex-spouse in the event of a divorce. When this happens, parents may want their child to have their fiance sign a prenuptial agreement to ensure the safety of their family assets.

It is important to know that signing a prenuptial agreement is entirely the decision of the future spouses. Parents may often try to influence their child or their child’s fiance into signing a prenup. Sometimes, they may even go as far as to threaten to cut off their child financially or in a future will. However, while they can attempt to, parents cannot force the future spouses to draft or sign the document. 

Invalid Prenups

If a parent does coerce their child or their child’s fiance into signing a prenup, the document can be deemed invalid. A prenup is a contract. Similar to any other contract, the future spouses must sign the document at their own will. If it was signed under the pressure of parents or in-laws, the document can later be contested and invalidated. 

Finding a Balance

Dealing with a prenuptial agreement can create an uncomfortable situation for all parties involved. It is important to try and handle the matter in a positive way that allows for solutions to be found and agreements to be made. One way this may be achieved is through healthy discussions about the prenup and any feelings regarding it between the future spouses and parents. This can include why the spouses may not want to sign the document as well as why the parents want them to have it. If needed, the family is able to have a mediator present at the discussion to help navigate these feelings. 

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