Texans who are getting married and have significant assets frequently want to protect themselves in case the marriage does not work out. This is where a premarital agreement can be helpful. Still, there are critical aspects of the agreement that must be considered when it is drafted and signed. From the perspective of the spouse who has the assets to protect and the party who is entering the union with less, these factors should not be glossed over. The content of the agreement is key, as is its enforceability if the couple decides to divorce.

The law is clear on these issues. The agreement can detail the rights to property regardless of the details of its acquisition and its location. That includes selling it, transferring it, exchanging it, assigning it, disposing of it and more. A premarital agreement may also state how spousal support will be provided if there is a divorce. It can even be eliminated completely. Estate planning documents can be addressed in the premarital agreement. Death benefits for insurance policies and ownership rights of the policy may be listed. Once the couple is married, it is possible to alter or revoke the premarital agreement, but both parties must consent and sign for this to be done.

A challenge that people who have signed a premarital agreement may face is if they are calling its validity and enforceability into question. In some cases, the signing spouse who entered the marriage with fewer assets might have signed the agreement without wanting to do so. Absence of a voluntary signature can justify the agreement being called into question and nullified. That party must also have received a full disclosure of the other party’s property and obligations. Without waiving that disclosure, this too can warrant the agreement being nullified.

For many, signing a premarital agreement is a fundamental part of the marriage. This could be a challenge if the circumstances have changed since the signing of the document and it was not updated to reflect those changes, or if the signing party was unaware of key information that should have been disclosed. These documents are not ironclad and there may be justification to call them into question. Property and asset division during a divorce can be rife for dispute. Discussing the case with experienced legal professionals who understand family law, property division and premarital agreements may be beneficial.