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How does one create a valid prenuptial agreement in Texas?

| Apr 6, 2018 | Family Law |

There are many reasons why a couple in the greater metro area of Killeen and Fort Hood, Texas, might want to enter in to a prenuptial agreement before they tie the knot, particularly when one member or both members of the couple are on their second or a subsequent relationship.

In addition to offering protection from having to give up one’s property during the course of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can also serve the purpose of, for example, protecting the inheritance of a person’s beloved children from a prior relationship.

The formal requirements for creating a valid premarital agreement in Texas are relatively easy to meet. Basically, the agreement has to be set out in writing, and both parties to the marriage have to sign the agreement. The agreement does not have to have an exchange of consideration involved in order to be valid. In other words, nothing valuable has to change hands between the couple; the agreement simply takes effect when the couple gets married.

Additionally, Texans should remember that premarital agreements ordinarily do not cover custody and visitation issues, and they explicitly cannot cover matters involving child support. Moreover, there are some additional substantive requirements that a premarital agreement must adhere to.

When one party seeks to enforce the agreement in court, the other party might argue that he or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily. This argument might be raised, for instance, if one spouse can show that he or she did not get a chance to look at the agreement until right before the wedding.

Even if both parties signed the agreement voluntarily, one person can also have the agreement set aside if it is “unconscionable,” which, roughly speaking, means the agreement is plainly unfair to one side.

However, this argument will only work if the person raising it did not get a chance to fully evaluate the financial condition of the other party prior to signing the agreement and did not waive his or her right to do so. This is one reason why it is so important for both parties to enter in to a premarital agreement only after consulting with their own family law attorneys.