Can I Contest a Prenuptial Agreement in Texas?

There are many misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements, the two biggest of which are: 1) that prenups are utilized solely by people with large bankrolls and even larger trust issues, and 2) that a prenup can include any provisions that the parties want, and that the prenup will be legally valid so long as both parties sign the final contract. At the Clark Law Group, we aim to put those misconceptions to rest.

For starters, a prenuptial agreement – while greatly utilized by the wealthy and affluent – is really just a tool used by two responsible and realistic individuals who understand that by entering a marital contract, they are taking a huge leap of faith that either party will be fair and charitable in the event of a divorce.

Secondly, each party must understand that a prenuptial agreement is not a way to coerce the other party into giving up all of their rights in a divorce, and nor is it a way to manipulate the other party into doing what they want. A prenuptial agreement can be rendered invalid, a fact that individuals need to consider before creating a lengthy premarital contract with outrageous provisions.

Contesting a Prenuptial Agreement

Sometimes, a judge may determine that a prenuptial agreement is invalid and ask the couple to come to a new agreement regarding the division of assets. Other times, one party of the divorce will decide that he or she is not satisfied with the terms of the prenuptial agreement, and want to contest it. If you are in the latter situation, it might be helpful to understand on what grounds you can contest a prenuptial agreement.

If you are not satisfied with the terms of your Texas prenuptial agreement, you may be able to contest it if you can prove one of the following to be true about it:

  • It was not properly executed, meaning that it was put in writing and signed by both parties prior to the wedding. Additionally, if the same attorney represented both parties in the reviewing and signing of the premarital contract, or if either party was coerced into signing the premarital contract, it could be rendered null and void.
  • One party was not given sufficient time to review the terms of the contract. If one spouse was coerced into signing a prenuptial agreement simply by presenting the document at an inopportune time—such as on their wedding day—then the judge will likely rule that the premarital contract is invalid.
  • The prenuptial agreement contains invalid or illegal provisions, such as provisions that waive one party’s right to child support (this is not possible to do), sexual provisions, or provisions that violate the law. It is important to note, however, that a judge may strike just the illegal aspects of the prenup, and enforce the remainder of it.
  • One or both spouses did not fully disclose certain details, or was untruthful about certain details, regarding their income, assets, debts, and liabilities.
  • The prenuptial agreement was grossly unfair, in that it asked one spouse to give up everything, and intended for the other to prosper.

(Texas Family Code, Section 4.105, Enforceability)

Retain the Legal Help of a Dallas Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, we are here to help you in the event that you are not satisfied with your prenuptial agreement and wish to have it rendered invalid. Our Dallas divorce attorneys can ensure your protection in a Dallas divorce by helping you contest certain aspects of your prenuptial agreement. Contact our Dallas family law firm at (469) 906-2266 to schedule a private consultation with one of our divorce attorneys today.

(image courtesy of Marcelo Coimbra)

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