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Can a divorce court declare a prenuptial agreement invalid?

When Texas couples become serious and start planning weddings, it may also be the best time to put romance aside for a little while and discuss the protection of each spouse’s assets. It may be a difficult subject to raise, but a divorce or death of one spouse is a possibility that deserves consideration. A prenuptial agreement is similar to insurance and understanding what can be included, along with the legal requirements of such a contract, may be helpful.

Texas is a community property state, and the prenup can list the assets that each party brings into the marriage as separate property. A couple can specify how they want to share the community property — assets acquired during the marriage — if they decide to divorce in the future or agree upon what should happen if one spouse dies. The financial responsibilities of each party can be included, along with alimony obligations. They can also state the manner in which they will handle disputes related to the prenup.

These are only some of the matters that can form part of a prenup. However, some issues may not be included in the agreement. If there are minor children, the court typically decides child support, and any agreements about visitation and child custody will need the approval of the family court. The court may review a prenup and consider whether it contains anything that is regarded unconscionable, illegal or otherwise against public policy.

A prenuptial agreement is an important document, though sometimes courts declare these contracts invalid. However, the support and guidance of each spouse’s attorney can ensure the agreement complies with the applicable laws of Texas. A marriage contract that is signed on the eve of the wedding, and without the help of an attorney for each party may be invalidated when evidence of coercion or duress exists.

Source: marriage.com, “Do’s and Don’ts of Prenuptial Agreements”, Accessed on Nov. 11, 2016

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