Prenuptial agreements are a common document for many couples that are preparing to marry. Prenups can protect your assets if you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways. They are very useful when it comes to the property division process of a divorce.
But not all prenuptial agreements are legally valid. Sometimes, a judge will choose not to uphold a prenup. If you are in the middle of a divorce, you may be wondering whether your prenuptial agreement is in fact legally valid.
There are some circumstances that can invalidate a prenuptial agreement. When this happens, the document will almost certainly not be upheld in court. Generally, a prenup will not hold up in court if:
1. It is not a legal document
A prenuptial agreement that is not a formal legal document will usually not be upheld. When spouses informally agree to certain conditions if a divorce occurs, the agreement must be formalized to conform to the requirements of the statutes. Otherwise, a judge likely will not allow it.
2. It was signed under duress
If one party was coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement, it may not be considered valid, but it is usually very difficult to prove this in court. If one party can successfully demonstrate to a court that they did not sign the document of their own free will, it may be dismissed.
3. It is unconscionable
Sometimes, a court will throw out prenuptial agreements that are not fair. When a prenup is so extreme that it puts one partner at a severe disadvantage, it is considered unconscionable. Judges may not uphold prenups that are considered to be unconscionable if certain other requirements can also be met, but the burden of proof will be on the person attempting to have the Court set aside the prenuptial agreement.
Protecting your prenuptial agreement
You might be concerned with whether your prenuptial agreement will be honored by a Texas court. If you are divorcing, you may wish to consult with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert to advise you about all of your legal options and what steps may be possible to protect your prenuptial agreement in a divorce court.