Five Ways to Ruin a Premarital Agreement
A premarital agreement is a contract between a couple that is signed prior to the wedding and that dictates property interests for each future spouse in situations of divorce and death. This type of contract can be incredibly beneficial for couples when one or both spouses are entering the marriage with significant property interests or if the marriage is one that blends families. At Rick Davis & Associates, our team of dedicated legal professionals understands how a premarital agreement can strengthen your marriage and also knows how to avoid the pitfalls that can ruin a premarital contract prior to the wedding. To learn more about premarital agreements, call or contact our office today.
Not Enough Time to Investigate and Draft
One of the most common factors that ruin a premarital agreement is the lack of time provided to investigate and draft a quality contract. A premarital agreement is just that – an agreement signed before the marriage. You and your significant other must give yourselves enough time prior to the wedding for your attorneys to fully review the property interests of each spouse, negotiate terms, and draft an enforceable premarital agreement for your marriage.
Pressuring Your Significant Other
Another common cause of failed premarital agreements occurs when one side pressures or hardlines the other on the terms of the contract. You must be prepared to make concessions on issues that mean less to you in order to have a fair and conscionable contract with your loved one. You must also communicate with your attorney so that he or she knows how firmly to push on certain aspects of your premarital agreement.
Failing to Include a Waiver of Disclosure
Texas law provides that a premarital agreement is considered unconscionable if one party did not sign the contract voluntarily. The other reason why a premarital agreement may be deemed unconscionable is if the terms of the contract are egregiously one-sided and a spouse was either not provided with financial disclosures or did not waive the disclosures in writing prior to signing the premarital agreement. Failing to include a waiver of disclosure can render a premarital contract unenforceable, so it is important to remember to include this aspect of your agreement.
Another element that may ruin a premarital agreement is overlooking the debts of each party prior to signing. Spouses entering a marriage with separate debt typically retain those liabilities in a divorce; however, in some situations, separate debt may be converted into marital debt or marital funds are used to cover the individual debts of one spouse. It is important to include in your premarital agreement provisions for debts and liabilities of individual spouses.
Including Unenforceable Testamentary Bequests
One final cause of ruined premarital agreements is the inclusion of unenforceable testamentary bequests. This contract can both identify property interests in a divorce and in the case of death of a spouse. However, the testamentary bequests in a premarital agreement cannot contravene Texas law when it comes to probate and estates. All bequests in a premarital contract must adhere to state law, including providing for homestead exemptions, family allowances, and meeting the procedural requirements of a valid will.
Call Our Office Today
To speak with an expert in Texas premarital agreements, call or contact Rick Davis & Associates today to schedule a consultation.