Prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, are legally binding agreements that are made between two people prior to their marriage. These agreements outline how assets and property will be divided in the event of a divorce. While prenups are commonly used in many countries, including New Zealand, there is always the question of whether they can be overturned.
In New Zealand, prenuptial agreements are governed by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. This act outlines the legal requirements for a valid prenup, which include that the agreement must be in writing, both parties must have received independent legal advice, and both parties must have fully disclosed their assets and liabilities. If these requirements are met, the prenup is considered legally binding, and the court will generally enforce it.
However, there are certain circumstances in which a prenup may be overturned in New Zealand. One such circumstance is if the prenup was entered into under duress or undue influence. This means that if one party was coerced or pressured into signing the prenup, or if the other party exerted excessive control or influence over them, the prenup may be considered invalid.
Another circumstance in which a prenup may be overturned is if it is deemed to be unfair or unjust. This may occur if, for example, one party was not fully aware of the implications of the agreement when they signed it, or if the prenup disproportionately benefits one party over the other.
It is also important to note that even if a prenup is considered valid, it may not cover all aspects of a divorce settlement. For example, if the prenup does not adequately provide for the needs of any children involved, the court may override the prenup to ensure that the children are taken care of.
In conclusion, while prenuptial agreements are generally considered legally binding in New Zealand, there are circumstances in which they may be overturned. Duress, undue influence, unfairness, and inadequate provision for children are all factors that may contribute to a prenup being deemed invalid or unenforceable. As with any legal agreement, it is important to seek independent legal advice and ensure that all requirements are met before signing a prenup.