Premarital and postmarital agreements are important legal contracts that should be reviewed carefully before execution. These agreements can help couples outline their expectations and agreements should a divorce happen but if drafted inadequately they can create an opposite result. Through a marital agreement, you can outline important matters such as characterization of property, property division and alimony should a divorce ever happen.
Texas law imposes strict requirements for the drafting and execution of both premarital and postmarital agreements. Failing to comply with these requirements can be very costly. Poorly drafted provisions can undermine the goals and reasons for entering the agreement. Significant problems can even render the agreement unenforceable in court.
Requirements of Premarital and Postmarital Agreements
To be enforceable, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must comply with specific legal requirements:
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.
- Both parties must fully disclose their financial circumstances, including their property, assets, and debts.
- Each party must enter the agreement voluntarily, without coercion or duress.
- The parties cannot be represented by the same attorney. They should each have the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.
It is important to seek legal guidance before entering a marital agreement. You should make sure you understand all provisions of the agreement and its cumulative effect on your rights.
Enforcing or Challenging Marital Property Agreements
Enforcing or challenging the marital property agreement can drastically shape the outcome of financial and property matters in the divorce.
Courts generally respect marital agreements and will enforce them unless one of the parties establishes that the agreement is void or otherwise unenforceable. Meeting this burden of proof requires presenting compelling legal arguments and evidence.
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