A premarital agreement is a great instrument to protect parties’ rights and assets in the event of a divorce or death. Parties entering into one must follow the requirements and steer away from improper conduct that could invalidate the agreement. Otherwise, the court can hold the contract void and unenforceable.
Below are some of the common grounds for contesting a prenuptial agreement.
Failure to meet the law’s requirements
Texas requires parties to execute the premarital agreement in writing before the marriage and sign it in the presence of witnesses. If the agreement fails to follow at least one of the guidelines, it can be a reason to contest the document’s validity.
Like any other contract, parties must sign the premarital agreement willingly. Any suspicion of coercion, duress or undue influence can force the court to investigate. If the evidence proves the existence of any of the three, the court will find the agreement void.
Dishonesty & concealment
One of the purposes of premarital agreements is to establish the financial obligations of each spouse. To effectively set these responsibilities, each spouse must disclose their actual income, owned assets, debts and liabilities. Intentionally providing wrong information or hiding details can make the contract unenforceable.
Invalid and illegal provisions
Even if parties are free to decide on the contract’s inclusion, they must still do so within the bounds of the law. If they include clauses that violate the law, the court can find those parts of the agreement void. This also applies to invalid provisions, such as child support issues or sexual provisions.
The agreement is grossly unfair
If the agreement’s provisions unreasonably favor one of the parties and are disadvantageous to the other, the court will consider it unenforceable.
A premarital agreement should make you feel secure before entering a marriage. Knowing the requirements of the contract will help you ensure that it is valid. If you have doubts about certain provisions, it can help to consult with a legal professional.