What are the requirements for a valid premarital agreement?

Courts recognize prenuptial agreements every day, but it also denies some due to them not meeting legal requirements. When crafting your agreement, it is essential to be sure you understand the law. 

Findlaw explains that since a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract, there are specific elements it must meet. 

Cannot address

You cannot include in your agreement anything arranging child support or custody. If you have children from a previous marriage or relationship, then you can include arrangements for them as long as your spouse does not adopt the children. Arrangements for children that you and your spouse have together cannot be in the agreement. 

Must be

Your prenuptial agreement must be fair to both of you. It cannot create a hardship for one of you. It also must be entered into by you both of your own free will. Neither of you can coerce the other to sign it. You also both must have your own attorneys who look over the agreement and advise you regarding it. 

Finally, you must have a proper witness who will sign the document and uphold that you both agreed to the contents of your own free will. 


You or your spouse can challenge a prenuptial agreement that does not meet the required elements. If you can show that it is not fair, that you were under duress or made to sign the agreement or that you did not have your own attorney when signing it, then the court may invalidate it. Furthermore, if you show there was not a witness to the agreement, this also can make it void.