Married couples in Texas share everything with each other. The income of one spouse becomes the community property of the married couple. If the couple ever divorces, they will have to share just about everything they own and even their debts as community property.
It is common for couples to spend a lot of time and energy fighting about property division and other divorce terms. Those disagreements make the divorce process last longer and cost much more than it otherwise would.
Prenuptial agreements allow Texas couples to get married with the security of having a predictable outcome if they do divorce. However, the time and money you invest in your prenuptial agreement could go to waste if either spouse has grounds to challenge the validity of the document. When might the courts agree that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable?
When someone signed without understanding the document
It is generally advisable to have both spouses have their own attorneys review the prenuptial agreement before they sign anything. This approach minimizes the risk of spouse tricking or taking advantage of the other. If someone signed the document without legal advice, they could claim they did not understand its implications. The courts may decide that it is unenforceable as a result.
When someone only makes concessions and receives nothing
Another common reason that the family courts invalidate prenuptial agreements involves the inclusion of unconscionable terms. For a contract to be valid and enforceable, it has to offer something of valuable consideration to each party.
If you drafted a prenuptial agreement assigning all of your assets as your separate property but designating no protections for your spouse, the courts may agree that it is the agreement is unfairly uneven and will not enforce it.
When someone signed under duress
People should enter into contracts of their free will, but sometimes people sign documents because of a perceived or explicit threat. For example, a pregnant woman who sign the prenuptial agreement because the father of the child will otherwise not marry her could argue that she did not sign of her own free will but because of his pressure on her caused by her future spouse and her precarious circumstances.