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Disputing a Premarital Agreement

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Texas divorce attorneyPremarital agreements can help ensure that in the event of a divorce, both parties will have a clear understanding of their assets and liabilities. However, premarital agreements are not always enforceable, in which case, a couple may need to reevaluate property division issues, so if you believe that your premarital agreement does not conform to the state’s requirements, please contact a complex divorce lawyer who can explain your options.

Voluntary Signatures

In order to be considered valid, a premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Even when these technicalities have been honored, an agreement can still be challenged if one of the parties alleges that at least one of the signatures was not voluntary. To establish that a signature was not voluntary, the party may need to provide evidence that the document was signed under duress, fraud, or undue influence.

Unconscionable at the Time of Execution

A court can also deem a premarital agreement unenforceable if there is evidence that it was unconscionable at the time it was signed because the person contesting the agreement:

  • Was not given a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party’s assets or financial obligations;
  • Did not waive, in writing, any right to the disclosure of the other party’s financial information; and
  • Did not and could not reasonably have had knowledge of the other party’s finances.

Determining whether an agreement was unconscionable at the time of execution is a fact specific inquiry, which means that the court will assess the situation, as a whole, at the time that the agreement was signed.

Revoking a Premarital Agreement

In the event that both parties decide to amend or revoke a premarital agreement, they can do so, but only if they record the agreement in a signed writing. Further, if a marriage is later determined to be void, then any premarital agreement entered into by the parties will be considered enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid inequitable consequences.

Premarital Agreement Content

Although couples are permitted to use premarital agreements to dispose of property, create alimony obligations, and assign the right to sell, buy, or use certain assets, there are certain things that cannot be included. For example, premarital agreements cannot contain any provisions that violate public policy or criminal law. The contents of an agreement can also not interfere with a child’s right to financial support.

Call Today to Discuss Your Case with a Dedicated Complex Divorce Lawyer

Premarital agreements can be helpful to couples who wish to have a plan in place in the event of a divorce. However, when they are the result of fraud or duress, they can be deemed unenforceable, so if you are considering creating a premarital agreement or believe that an already existing agreement is not enforceable, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Offices of William D. Powers to set up a meeting with a Cedar Park divorce attorney who will assist you throughout each step of your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.4.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=5333445&page=1

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759