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When is a Prenuptial Agreement Voidable in Texas?

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Dallas prenup lawyerA prenuptial agreement is an excellent way for soon-to-be newlyweds to reach an agreement about how their assets would be divided in the event that the couple does not stay married forever. They can be, however, drastically unfair to one spouse. Consider the classic situation where a prenuptial agreement is used—when there is significant income or net-worth disparity between the spouses-to-be. Often, the party with fewer assets agrees in the prenuptial agreement to leave the marriage with nothing during a divorce. Often, there is a level of coercion involved in that sort of agreement. In such a situation, the disadvantaged party may be able to ask the court to set aside the prenuptial agreement. 

If you are going through a divorce and fear that an unfair prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will leave you in a terrible position, you should talk to an experienced divorce attorney. There are circumstances where a court will not enforce a prenuptial agreement, but you may need the knowledge of a skilled attorney to achieve this. 

Under What Circumstances Might Texas Courts Void a Prenuptial Agreement? 

Texas courts do not want to enforce a prenuptial agreement—or any contract, really—that is unconscionable or that was entered into under duress. The court might void a prenuptial agreement if it sees proof of: 

  • Duress or coercion - Prenuptial agreements are only valid if they were entered into voluntarily. Duress and coercion are not limited to situations where someone put a gun to your head and forced you to sign. A variety of threats, including legal or economic threats, may count. If the agreement was signed very shortly before the wedding, the court may see this as a sign that there was coercion present. Prospective spouses hoping to force a favorable prenuptial agreement will sometimes have the agreement drafted alone, and then present it to their intended spouse just before the wedding, threatening to cancel the marriage if the contract is not signed at once. This type of situation may be duress or coercion. 
  • Dishonesty - Prospective spouses are expected to make a full disclosure of all assets and debts before signing a prenuptial agreement. If your spouse hid money or property or lied to conceal a debt, then you never had the opportunity to make a fully informed decision about entering the agreement. The court may choose not to enforce the agreement. 
  • Unconscionability - If following the prenuptial agreement would leave one spouse in a position where they are not able to support themself after the divorce, the agreement is likely to be found drastically unfair to the point of unconscionability. Additionally, prenuptial agreements that are wildly in one party’s favor may be a signal that some level of coercion was applied. 

Call a Texas Family Law Attorney

If you have concerns about an unfair prenuptial agreement affecting your divorce, the Clark Law Group may be able to help. Our experienced Dallas prenup attorneys have the skills needed to contest the prenuptial agreement you were coerced or tricked into signing. If you need more information about whether your prenuptial agreement could be voidable, you can schedule a consultation by calling 469-906-2266



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