Many Texas residents who sign prenuptial agreements believe that their actions are irrevocable and that such agreements cannot be amended or challenged. While the legal reasons for such actions are limited, anyone who is thinking about enforcing a prenuptial agreement or resisting such an action should be aware of the potential infirmities that may lead to a judgment that the agreement is invalid.
The first reason that might lead to the rejection of a prenuptial agreement is the simple fact that it was not reduced to writing, or never signed. Under Texas law, and the law of every other state, the agreement must be in writing and both parties must sign the agreement before the marriage takes place.
The failure of either party to sign the agreement will forever prevent its enforcement. Similarly, the lack of the formalities of execution, such as the signature of a notary public or other witness, will invalidate the agreement.
People often feel pressured by the other party to the marriage to sign a prenuptial agreement. Such pressure can consist of denial of adequate time to either read or consider the agreement. If such pressure can be proved, the agreement will be held to be invalid.
A related reason is the failure or refusal of one or both parties to make a full and accurate disclosure of their financial situation. Hiding or misrepresenting assets prior to the execution of a premarital agreement is likely to cause a court to declare the agreement invalid and, therefore, unenforceable.
Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts and each party must be represented by separate counsel. A lawyer can advise individuals on their rights before signing an agreement, and help people who have already signed an agreement to understand their options.