Should I Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?
It seems that this question comes up more and more lately with clients. Two people are planning on getting married; one of them has a house, a business, vehicles, and a substantial savings account, while the other has no real assets besides a car. Or, an older couple decides to get married. The couple’s children from their previous marriages are older now and married themselves. They have already established their lives, with separate cars, houses, and bank accounts that will be combined as soon as the marriage occurs.
Ultimately, a prenuptial agreement is not the right choice for everyone, and it truly depends on the specifics of your individual circumstances. However, if you are planning on getting married, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled attorney to learn about your options and make a final decision.
Texas Law & Premarital Agreements
In 1993, the Texas Legislature made an amendment to the Texas Family Code that affected premarital agreements that were implemented on or after September 1, 1993. Basically, this amendment eliminated common-law defenses, which meant that the only way to contest the enforcement of a premarital agreement was if involuntary execution or unconscionability were the grounds. This means that a contestant has to prove that he or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily or that the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed.
Specific terms of the agreement can still be contested, as long as it is a prohibited term in the contract. However, most prenuptial agreements do not include prohibited terms, so this exclusion is difficult, if not a moot point, to use as a challenge to a prenuptial agreement.
What This Means If You Want to Contest a Prenuptial Agreement
If your marriage comes down to a divorce and your spouse pulls out the prenuptial agreement, there are only two exclusions that you will be able to use if you want to contest that contract. If you can prove that you did not sign the agreement voluntarily, you might be able to contest it. If you can prove the following, you might be able to use the unconscionability exclusion:
- You were not provided fair and reasonable disclosure of your spouse’s assets or debts;
- You did not voluntarily and expressly waive your rights to the disclosure of your spouse’s assets and debts in writing; and
- You did not and could not have reasonably had sufficient knowledge of your spouse’s undisclosed assets and debts.
As you can see, it is difficult, if not impossible, to contest a prenuptial agreement in Texas. Before you sign a prenuptial agreement, you should contact an experienced Texas family law attorney who knows how to protect her clients. Call the Law Office of Lauren Cain today for a free and confidential consultation at (214) 326-4664 if you are planning on signing a premarital agreement or if you are getting a divorce and need help contesting one.