What must a prenuptial agreement have to be valid? Under Utah law, the following requirements must be met. If they are not, separating spouses can use any of these five missed requirements as a way to get out of the provisions within the prenuptial agreement. 1) Capacity: The parties must be mentally capable of entering into a contract. This means mental infirmity, such as dementia or being under the legal age of consent, will invalidate a prenuptial agreement 2) Consideration: There must be some sort of "consideration." This is a legal term for a bargained-for benefit. Every contract must have this. You can't have a legal agreement unless each party is making a mutual promise. Imagine a contract where you simply agree to do something. While this may be a promise, it is not a contract. 3) Writing: It has to be in writing and signed by both parties. 4) Meeting of the Minds: There must be evidence that the parties understood the terms and agreed to the same thing. This is a problem when either side lacks independent representation. After all, the unrepresented person could later argue he or she did not think he or she was agreeing to the same thing, due to a key misunderstanding of legal terms. 5) Complete Disclosures Both parties must submit true and accurate disclosures of assets, income, and other issues that may be subject to negotiations. Falsification of this information may be grounds for invalidating a prenup. However, you are able to have a provision waiving full disclosure if both parties agree for the language to be added to the document. What are the grounds for breaking a prenup? Ultimately, anytime one of the five requirements above is missing, you can invalidate the prenup. But in addition to these, there are a few other reasons that are clear grounds: 1) Fraud Under Utah law, fraud is a clear ground for invalidating an agreement. This happens when one party commits trickery to induce the signing of the agreement or falsifies terms. Think of fraud by several examples: Forging a signature, changing a couple key terms and slipping a different page in the agreement at the last minute, or maybe lying about assets prior to agreement. 2) Coercion & Duress: This is a truly insidious tactic that can be used, especially when dealing with abusive relationships or marriages in later years. Some spouses marrying late in life may have medical problems. Say, for instance, one party is in the hospital suffering from an illness and in a weakened state. Then, the other party brings the prenup to the hospital and has the other person sign it under the threat that he or she will leave them with no one to take care of them unless he or she signs. As horrible as this sounds, it happens far more often than you might guess. Other Considerations In Utah courts, prenups are scrutinized a bit more than a usual contract because the parties have certain inherent trust with each other due to their loving relationships. Thus, it is more likely that a party could be taken advantage of. One sure way to void a prenup is having one party unrepresented at the signing or in negotiations. If you feel you were unrepresented or suffered an unequal bargain in your prenup, you should contact a skilled Salt Lake City divorce attorney who can review the terms and circumstances of the agreement and discuss your options. Likewise, if you are wanting a prenup drafted and/or if your future spouse is asking for a prenup, you should consult a divorce lawyer to walk through your options before you sign anything.