If a Premarital Agreement is not executed correctly, it may not be enforceable at the time that it is needed most. Texas property laws are complicated, and so are the laws regarding the execution and enforceability of premarital agreements.
In 1993, the Texas Legislature changed the law to say that there are now only two ways in which a party can invalidate a premarital agreement:
- prove it ways signed "involuntarily" ; or
- prove it was "unconscionable" when it was signed and, before signing the agreement, prove:
- you were not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
- you did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
- you did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
Before 1993, a party could also use "common law defenses" to the enforceability of the premarital agreement such as fraud or duress, but now a party can not. However, the two terms--involuntarily and unconscionable--are packed with meaning. Several Texas appellate courts have written pages and pages on how those terms are defined and how they apply in the context of a premarital agreement.
Whether or not your Premarital Agreement is valid and enforceable will be dependent upon many critical facts. It is not enough to simply say that it exists and it was signed by the both parties. If you are thinking about executing a premarital agreement, be sure to have a competent family law attorney assist you with the drafting and execution of the document. If you are going through a divorce in which a Premarital Agreement exists, it is absolutely critical to have an attorney review the document and also discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding its execution.
Stephen Carl practices civil litigation, focusing primarily on family law cases. Stephen graduated, cum laude, from Baylor Law School with a special distinction in family law and as an editor for the Baylor Law Review. Stephen is ...
Family law can be complicated.
This blog contains some of the most common questions that our family law attorneys receive. Search or click below to learn more about common family law issues regarding divorce, child custody, adoption, and CPS.
- Foster Parents may Intervene Prior to Twelve Months Under Certain Circumstances
- New Changes to CPS Statutes Effective 09/01/2021: Prioritization of Placement Decisions
- New Change to Child Support Effective 09/01/2021: Reduction in Support Requirements for Low-Income Earners
- What is a common law marriage in Texas?
- Can I be ordered to pay my spouse alimony (spousal maintenance)?
- Is my premarital agreement enforceable?
- What are "Initial Disclosures"?
- Should my spouse and I use the same lawyer for our divorce?
- What is Collaborative Family Law?
- Who has more power over a CPS case: The judge or CPS?