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Can You Challenge Your Prenuptial Agreement?

Most people who plan to get married do not think about the need for a prenuptial agreement. This is especially the case for younger individuals who do not have a significant amount of income or assets at the time. However, in situations involving one person with substantial wealth, business interests, property, or complex assets, a prenuptial agreement is often signed prior to the marriage.

A “prenup” can set out guidelines for issues like property division and alimony in the event of a divorce. For example, a prenup can state that one spouse will only receive a limited amount of alimony and property, while all other business interests and assets will remain as separate property. In many cases, prenuptial agreements are carefully drafted and signed with each spouse aware of the effects of the agreement. However, in some cases, one spouse may believe that the agreement was unfair or that they were tricked into signing it. This begs the question: Can you challenge a prenuptial agreement in a Texas divorce?

Two Grounds for Challenges

Prior to 1993, there were a number of common law defenses you could present to challenge the enforceability of a prenup in Texas. However, that year, the state legislature amended the law to only allow for two specific grounds for challenging agreements signed after September 1, 1993. These two grounds are as follows:

Involuntary execution – While the law does not define what constitutes “involuntary” signing of a prenup, courts have examined circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Common reasons for finding involuntary execution include if one spouse was not allowed to read the agreement, or was somehow forced or coerced into signing.

Unconscionability – An agreement can be considered unconscionable if one spouse did not disclose the necessary information for the other spouse to make an educated decision whether to sign the agreement.

Contact a Sugar Land, Texas High Net Worth Divorce Attorney Today

Divorces involving significant assets can be difficult enough without the existence of an unfair prenuptial agreement. If you have a prenuptial agreement that you believe should not be enforced, it is imperative to seek help from an attorney with experience in this type of case. The Vendt Law Firm regularly represents divorcing spouses that have complex property division, alimony, and prenup issues. Please call a Katy divorce lawyer at (832) 263-6770 for assistance today.

1http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.4.htm

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