Can Your Spouse Enforce Your Premarital Agreement in Your Divorce?
Premarital agreements (often referred to as “prenups”) can be extremely tricky. If your spouse is attempting to enforce a premarital agreement in your Texas divorce, there are some things that you should know. Further, you need an experienced Texas divorce attorney on your side to help protect your rights. You and your children’s future wellbeing are far too important to leave to chance, contact a skilled Texas divorce lawyer today.
In Texas, any premarital agreement executed on or after September 1, 1993, can only be contested on the grounds of involuntary execution or unconscionability. For prenups made before this date, enforcement can be thwarted via common law defenses. Nevertheless, a specific term in an agreement made after the cutoff date can be legally challenged on its contractual terms—although the agreement as a whole cannot. Let’s take a closer look at the two exceptions.
If you can prove that a premarital agreement was not executed voluntarily (on the part of one party), it isn’t enforceable. Voluntarily has been loosely defined in a variety of ways, but it amounts to doing something with intention, purpose, or choice rather than being influenced by an external force, interference, or coercion. Although involuntary execution is obviously difficult to prove, it remains a viable defense against the enforcement of a premarital agreement.
If a premarital agreement is found to be unconscionable at the time of its signing, it can negate its enforceability. For the document to be unconscionable, certain factors must be present:
- It did not allow a fair and reasonable assessment of the non-complaining spouse’s financial assets and obligations.
- The complaining party must not have voluntarily and specifically waived his or her right (in writing) to the other party’s disclosure of financial assets and obligations.
- The complaining party didn’t and couldn’t reasonably have had adequate knowledge of the other party’s financial assets and obligations.
The unconscionability element must have been present when the agreement was executed. Any resulting disproportionate effects of the contract at the time that it is enforced are immaterial if unconscionability wasn’t at play when the contract was signed. To put it more simply, if the premarital agreement disproportionately favors your spouse at the time of your divorce, it doesn’t make the agreement unconscionable.
Denying the enforcement of a premarital agreement can quickly become complicated. If you’re looking at a Texas divorce that involves a prenup, you need an experienced divorce attorney on your side.
Contact A Skilled Richmond, Texas, Divorce Lawyer Today
Divorce is always challenging, but if you’re facing a premarital agreement that’s poised to leave you with less than you’re entitled to, the situation is more difficult still. Attorney Frank J. Vendt at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., in Richmond, Texas, has the dedication, experience, and determination to aggressively advocate for your case’s best possible resolution, and he’s here to help. Please schedule an appointment today by contacting or calling our office at (832) 276-9474.