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Are Prenuptial Agreements Valid in Ohio?

Are prenuptial agreements valid in Ohio?  Yes, so long as the agreement satisfies several conditions set forth by the Ohio Supreme Court.  A prenuptial agreement will be valid if the agreement satisfies the following:

  • The agreement has been entered into freely without fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching.
  • There was full disclosure, or full knowledge and understanding of the nature, value and extent of the prospective spouse's property.
  • The terms do not promote or encourage divorce or profiteering by divorce

When determining whether a prenuptial agreement was entered freely without duress, coercion or overreaching, courts will look to the totality of the surrounding circumstances including:

  • the parties’ knowledge of the nature of the agreement,
  • whether the parties had a meaningful opportunity to meet with legal counsel, 
  • whether the agreement was presented for signature in close proximity to the scheduled wedding, and 
  • whether the postponement of the wedding would cause significant hardship, embarrassment or emotional stress. 

The purpose of the above factors is to protect against a financially disadvantaged spouse from being presented a prenuptial agreement on the eve of a wedding without the ability to meet with counsel.

Generally, a party can show full disclosure or full knowledge of the prospective spouse's assets by attaching a schedule of assets and liabilities to the prenuptial agreement.  

A prenuptial agreement will promote or encourage divorce or profiteering from divorce if the prenuptial agreement would provide a large payment after a short period of marriage.  

If all of the above factors are satisfied, then the prenuptial agreement will be valid and enforceable.  If you have any questions regarding prenuptial agreements, please contact Randal Lowry & Associates at (330) 576-3363.  

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