Book an appointment using SetMore

Four reasons why your Texas prenuptial agreement may be invalid

In a world where disputes and disharmony are the norm, prenuptial agreements offer spouse is an opportunity to avoid what can be nasty fights in a divorce scenario. While some people view prenuptial agreements as potentially underhanded in at the best-off putting, the reality is that prenuptial agreements can be practical and reasonable alternatives to long and protracted divorce cases. One of the main reasons why parties agree to negotiate the terms of their divorce ahead of time is that it is easier to plan ahead when you are thinking logically and dispassionately.

this is an issue that I think some people overlook when it comes to planning out either a divorce or time spent negotiating a prenuptial agreement. The reality is that people involved in divorces typically do not think as clearly or as logically as they would in other circumstances. You may believe that you are completely unemotional about your divorce and you may be approaching the case have someone who is happy to have your marriage come to an end. However, that doesn't mean that we will be completely able to separate what emotions we do have from the actual negotiations in a divorce case. 

Rather than negotiate difficult issues for your family during a pressure filled divorce, some families determined that it is better to work through these issues before the marriage even begins. It is an entirely different experience to work with your spouse before you are married and before your marriage is coming to an end rather than waiting until a divorce to think about these hard issues. Planning ahead means that you know what to expect in your marriage and it sort of clears the air to extent about expectations should a divorce occur. 

What situations can a prenuptial agreement help you avoid when it comes to a divorce 

The first benefit that comes to my mind when I think of a prenuptial agreement is that you can potentially help yourself avoid difficult situations down the road. A prenuptial agreement is sort of like a will. I use this comparison because a will is a document that we draft while you are still living that plans for your death. A will states what your desires are for your assets upon the end of your life. Rather than allowing a quart or family members to determine the outcome of your post death property distribution, you can create a will and make those determinations before yourself while you are still in good health. 

One of the things you see in movies and on television shows about people who are trying to contest a will is that the person who created a will is often not in his or her right mind when the world was created. The argument is that since he or she was very old when the world was created that he or she was not thinking clearly. Therefore, the world is not actually display these are her desires in regard to the distribution of their property upon their death. The show or movie will then center around family trying to dispute that will the best of their advantage. 

I think we can draw some parallels between the situation like this and a prenuptial agreement. If it is your desire to draft a property agreement in relation to your marriage it may be best to do so early rather than later. If you can talk with your fiancé about possibility of having a prenuptial agreement drafted, then you can avoid problems in your divorce down the road. A prenuptial agreement is much like I will. Prenuptial agreements allows you to divide up property between yourself and your spouse not when you are on the cusp of a divorce but when you are actually on good terms with the person you are about to marry. This way there can be little in the way of confusion or dispute as to whether or not the prenuptial agreement reflects your actual desires. 

A will is also similar to prenuptial internet because many people feel uncomfortable what comes to drafting and finalizing a will. There is something ominous about staring your own mortality in the face and dividing up your property before you are even dead. We all know that at some point the end will come for all of us, but the thing is we just don't know when. A will forces us to confront this reality and that makes many of us uncomfortable. 

We see a similar phenomenon when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Many people feel like they will jinx their marriage if they begin to contemplate a divorce before the marriage even begins. It is a bit macabre to start determining issues like spousal maintenance, property division and other issues for you and your fiancé before we even exchanged the “I do’s.”  If this is a concern of yours, I would tell you to take a step back and consider that I don't think there is any proof that people who enter into prenuptial agreements have a higher incidence of divorce than people who do not. 

What I do think about prenuptial agreements is that if you and your spouse fall into a few categories then you may seriously want to consider having a prenuptial agreement created on your behalves.  Here are few scenarios where I do believe it is wise to at least consider having a prenuptial agreement negotiated between you and your fiancé. 

What circumstances made you want to consider having a prenuptial agreement drafted? 

The first situation that I would say merits strong consideration of having a prenuptial agreement drafted is when you and your spouse have wildly different levels of wealth as separate property. I am envisioning a scenario where perhaps you are wealthy from years of working as a professional, whereas your spouse has either not started their career or has been working but does not have the income earning potential that you do. In this type of circumstance, it may be wise for you all to talk about having a prenuptial agreement signed. 

There are a couple of things that people in this circumstance are not. By talking to your spouse to be about the possibility of a prenuptial agreement you are not trying to rip him or her off. You are also not trying to stir the pot and hard in order in the present. For one, a prenuptial agreement allows you to ago she ate an atypical or flexible agreement on post-divorce division of assets that a judge could not match in a trial. The irony of a contested divorce case is that you and your spouse may not be able to agree on how to divide up your assets, but a judge is even less equipped to do this than you are. Whynot guarantee that it's taken out of his hands they allow you and your spouse to negotiate these terms directly?

Texas adheres to community property laws which will determine which assets in your marriage will be divided in which will not be. What a prenuptial agreement allows you to do is circumvent these community property laws and create your own outcomes based on what you and you will be believe this there. Again, I'm all about letting people determine their outcomes rather than the state of Texas. While unconscionable agreements cannot be upheld by family court just about any agreement within the bounds of decency will be honored. Basically, as long as you are not ripping each other off a judge will uphold your prenuptial agreement.

In what circumstances find your prenuptial agreement to be invalid? 

That's not to say that all prenuptial agreements will be enforced by a family court charge. There are some circumstances that may come into play that invalidate the agreement and cause the document to not be worth the paper that it's printed on. Let's spend the remainder of today's blog post going through some of the circumstances that may render your prenuptial agreement invalid in the eyes of a family court judge in Texas. 

First, you need to be aware that while a prenuptial agreement can contain provisions on a number of topics there are certain areas that a prenuptial agreement cannot dive into. Issues regarding your children our foremost among them. Things such as child support, child custody and visitation rights cannot be determined in advance. 

This makes sense in many ways, but I think the most obvious is that you cannot plan issues for children who have not yet been born. What if you have a child who has special needs and requires an extraordinary amount of child support or a visitation schedule that accommodates his or her special needs? Determining these issues in advance would be unconscionable and would not be in the best interests of your child. Therefore, you should expect that any language in your prenuptial agreement that defines responsibilities in regard to your children to be declared invalid. 

Second, if it is determined that you and your fiancé were not honest with each other when negotiating the agreement, it may be thrown out of court in the event that you and you forced down the road in a divorce. Just like in an actual family law case, when you negotiate required by law to dipole information and being transparent about the material that you want to go shooting on. If it comes to in the forefront that you have been less than truthful with your spouse about certain areas of your life, such as hiding assets, you risk having your entire agreement learn out. 

Once your spouse learns about your dishonest deeds, he or she can argue to a family court judge that the prenuptial agreement is invalid. As long as he or she is able to produce evidence to this effect it is likely that your prenuptial agreement will not be enforceable. Therefore, it is better to err on the side of caution and be completely honest with your spouse when it comes to sharing information that is material to the drafting of your prenuptial agreement.

Third, the law in Texas requires that your prenuptial agreement must be in writing in order to be declared valid by a family court judge later on. The document must contain both your and your spouse’s signature as well. You cannot present a haphazardly agreed to set of provisions on the back of an envelope without anyone signatures expect that to be held up in court as a valid prenuptial agreement. rather, both you and your spouse to be should hire attorneys to represent you and have the attorneys draft a prenuptial agreement on your behalf once the negotiation sessions are complete. This will help ensure the enforceability of your initial agreement down the road.

Finally, if it is shown that the agreement was entered into due to your coercing or pressuring your spouse to be to do so then it is unlikely that the agreement will be declared valid. Both you and your spouse must have time to read through the agreement and understand what it requires you to do before putting your signature on it. If you pressured your fiancé to sign the document or outright lied to him or her about what was being signed, then the document will be declared invalid in the prenuptial agreement will have no force in a court of law. 

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about Texas family law and the services that we provide to our clients. Thank you for your interest in our law office and we hope you will join us tomorrow as we share more information about the world of Texas family law.  


Let's Get Started Together

Fill out the form below 
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.