What are the Requirements for a Premarital Agreement in Texas?
In Texas (Tex. Fam. Code § 4.001), a premarital agreement (prenup) is a contract signed by spouses before marriage that clarifies property rights and stipulates how certain assets will be handled if the couple ever gets divorced. For a prenup to be enforced by a court in Texas, it must satisfy certain conditions. Within this article, our Galveston County family lawyer provides an overview of the requirements that you must satisfy in order for your premarital agreement to be valid in Texas.
- A Premarital Agreement Must Be in Writing and Signed By Both Parties
A fundamental requirement for prenuptial agreements in Texas is that the agreement must be in writing. Oral premarital agreements—no matter how strongly affirmed—are not enforceable in Texas. Both parties must have a written document that clearly outlines the terms they have decided upon. Beyond that, both spouses must sign the agreement.
- A Premarital Agreement Cannot Be Signed Under Duress
A premarital agreement can be challenged in litigation on the grounds that it was signed under duress. For a contract to be legally valid in Texas, it is imperative that both parties enter into it voluntarily. If one party can prove that they were pressured, threatened, or coerced into signing the agreement, it could be declared invalid by a court. To help ensure enforceability, the non-drafter of the prenup should generally have the opportunity to consult with his or her own family lawyer.
- A Premarital Agreement Requires Good Faith Disclosures
Transparency matters. Indeed, it is one of the cornerstones of premarital agreement law in Texas. Both parties must disclose their assets, liabilities, and financial circumstances honestly and in good faith. If it is later discovered that one party concealed assets or misrepresented their financial situation, the agreement could be rendered completely unenforceable. The requirement ensures that both parties are making informed decisions when they sign the agreement. Texas courts have invalidated premarital agreements on the grounds the proper financial disclosures were not made.
- A Premarital Agreement Cannot Have Prohibited Terms
Finally, a prenup in Texas cannot have invalid terms. While prenuptial agreements provide couples with considerable latitude to define financial terms and provisions, there are certain provisions that Texas law will not uphold. For instance, prenups cannot include terms that would adversely affect a child’s right to child support. Child support cannot be dealt with in a premarital agreement. Likewise, child custody cannot be dealt with in a prenuptial agreement. If certain prohibited terms are included within the premarital agreement the entire prenup could be deemed unenforceable.
Contact Our Galveston County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Today
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Galveston County prenuptial agreement lawyers are experienced advocates for clients. If you have any questions about the drafting or negotiation of a prenup, we are here as a resource. Call us now or contact us online to set up your confidential consultation. Our firm serves communities in Galveston County and throughout Southeast Texas.