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Content and enforcement of prenuptial agreements in Texas

Whether a couple is involved in a high asset divorce or one of more modest scope, there might be prenuptial agreements. The end of a marriage is always difficult, but if there is a disagreement over divorce legal issues when it comes to a prenuptial agreement, it can lead to a long, drawn out process to part ways. Understanding what the law says about these agreements, what is in them and when they can be called into question is important for both parties.

In a prenuptial agreement, the contract can involve what properties the parties have rights and obligations to regardless of when it was acquired or where it is located; the right to purchase, sell, use, or do anything else with the property; the disposition of the property if there is a separation, dissolution of the marriage, death of one of the spouses or any other event; how support payments to the other spouse can be subject to modification or elimination; the formulation of a will, trust or other arrangement; ownership rights as part of a death benefit in a life insurance policy; the choice of law that governs how the agreement is constructed; and any other issue that does not violate the law. The rights on the part of a parent to receiving support payments for a child cannot be negatively affected by a prenuptial agreement.

It is possible that the prenuptial agreement might not be enforceable. For this, it must be proved that the agreement was unconscionable when it was signed. It must also be shown that prior to signing it, the person signing did not have a fair and reasonable disclosure of what the other party had in financial or property obligations, did not waive the rights to having these factors disclosed and did not or could not have sufficient knowledge of the obligations the other party had. The court will decide whether it was unconscionable.

Even if there was a prenuptial agreement signed, that does not automatically mean it must be enforced as written. There are numerous factors that go into whether it is valid and enforceable. It may be a good idea to discuss the matter with a qualified divorce attorney as soon as practicable.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Chapter 4. Premarital and Marital Property Agreements.," accessed on Oct. 27, 2015

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