What is Required for Validity of a Premarital Agreement in Texas?

A premarital agreement is a legal contract that addresses the rights of prospective spouses over marital assets in the event of a divorce or even death. This becomes especially valuable in a community property state, such as Texas. Both spouses have equal ownership over assets during the course of the marriage.

While it is preferable to imagine a divorce-free marriage on the horizon, premarital agreements work to protect both parties. It also seeks to protect their individual assets. A premarital agreement can help set a financially secure lifestyle after divorce.

Even without thinking of divorce, discussions brought up during premarital agreements can help. A couple’s assets or even existing debts are beneficial pieces of information. Both parties knowing this before officially deciding to enter marriage can at least make an informed decision.

A premarital agreement ensures that children have financial support or assets in the event of a divorce. This way, a spouse could not withhold financial aid from their children.

Texas Premarital Agreement Requirements

First and foremost, what the law requires for a valid premarital agreement is to have it in writing and signed by the parties.

Second, the agreement could only be deemed effective once the marriage is official. Texas allows amendment or revocation of the premarital agreement even after marriage. Parties must put the amendment or revocation in writing and sign it.

Contesting Premarital Agreements

There are various grounds to make the agreements unenforceable. One is if a party can prove that he or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily. It is also possible that a party signed voluntarily but did not understand the terms. Such events include, for example, an unfair non-disclosure of the full agreement or not having adequate knowledge of the agreement.

Unconscionable terms may cause the termination of premarital agreements too.

Most people see premartial or prenuptial agreements as a negative thing. It is usually viewed as a sign of distrust. However, it is actually beneficial. With a premarital agreement, what is otherwise jointly owned, can be negotiated to be separate. All with the rights of both parties over valuable assets, properties, and responsibilities duly protected.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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