Divorce is rarely a simple or easy process, no matter where a couple lives. In Texas, community property laws can make property division a frustrating experience, even for couples who are motivated to resolve conflicts fairly and quickly. Community property law requires couples to divide marital property equally, but a strong prenuptial agreement can help relieve some of this tension.
If you face divorce in Texas and have a prenuptial agreement, you may have a more streamlined divorce than you would otherwise. However, if your prenuptial agreement contains errors or other weaknesses, this may create additional complications. As you move forward with the divorce process, be sure to examine your prenuptial agreement closely to identify potential problems before they occur.
When creating a prenuptial agreement, couples must pay close attention to both the technical requirements and the content restrictions laid out in the law. If a prenuptial agreement contains errors or illegal provisions, or was not created properly, a court may refuse to enforce the agreement, either partially or entirely. Errors may include:
- Failing to sign the agreement before the marriage
- Failing to create a written agreement, relying on a verbal agreement
- Failing to sign in presence of proper witnesses
- Failing to fully disclose information, such as financial documents
- Failing to review the document before signing it
An agreement that does not contain technical errors may still not stand up to legal scrutiny if the agreement itself involves illegal terms or treats one party in a grossly unethical way. For instance, a court may strike a portion of the agreement or throw it out entirely if:
- One party signed under pressure
- One party was not given time to review the agreement
- One party did not have independent legal counsel before signing
- The agreement includes terms around child support or child custody
- The agreement leaves only one party in dire financial hardship
These are not the only issues that can arise when enforcing a prenuptial agreement, but are some of the most common. If you find any of these issues in your prenuptial agreement, be sure to address them as you build your divorce strategy.
Plan now for the future you want
In the middle of a divorce, it is not always easy to maintain perspective about the future. As you move forward with the divorce process, it is important to use the legal resources that you have available to protect your rights and create a strong strategy for achieving your divorce priorities. Be sure to use high-quality legal resources and guidance as needed to keep your rights and priorities secure as you move through this difficult season and wait for the dust to settle.