A prenuptial agreement can be a vital tool in protecting your personal assets, your business and your future financial well-being if you and your spouse divorce. However, not all prenups are created equal.
If not properly drawn up, some very important provisions, if not the entire agreement, can be invalidated. If getting an "ironclad" prenup, or as close to one as possible, is your goal, you want a Texas attorney with extensive experience drawing up these contracts and one whose prenups have stood up in court if challenged.
The entirety of a prenup can be invalidated for a number of reasons. These include improper filing of the paperwork and execution without legal representation. It can also be ruled invalid if it is found to have been signed under duress or by someone without the mental capacity to understand it. If the provisions are found to unfairly favor one person over the other, it can be invalidated. Further, if both spouses do not fully and accurately disclose their assets and debts, the agreement can be deemed fraudulent and ruled invalid.
While the above circumstances present serious issues that can undermine the entire agreement, other issues, even seemingly-minor wording problems, can impact one or more provisions of a prenup. This can result in drawn-out and potentially costly legal battles when a couple calls it quits.
While there is no guarantee that every provision in a prenup will stand up to a court challenge by a spouse, having one is generally better than not. This is true whether you are the spouse bringing the majority of the assets to the marriage or the one with relatively few. A prenup can codify things like which assets remain individual property and which ones will become marital property. It also makes financial provisions for the spouse with fewer individual assets if the couple divorces, while preventing the other spouse from losing the majority of his or her assets.
A prenup can be one of the most important legal documents many Texans will ever draw up. That's why it's essential to work with an attorney who knows how to draft a prenup that will accurately codify a couple's wishes and help ensure that those wishes can withstand court challenges if and when the marriage ends.
Source: Forbes, "How Key Portions Of Prenups And Postnups Can Be Invalidated" Jeff Landers, Nov. 08, 2014