The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

Premarital agreements and how they impact a high asset divorce

Divorce is a difficult prospect for Texans. For people with significant assets, a divorce can be even more difficult as there is bound to be acrimony and a seemingly endless series of disputes regarding property. Many couples will try to mitigate this with a premarital agreement. Even if there is such an agreement, it does not necessarily mean that it will be enforced.

In the premarital agreement, the parties can detail how properties will be addressed if they divorce. The right to sell, purchase, dispose of, exchange and essentially do anything else with a piece of property can be determined via the premarital agreement. If the couple separates, gets divorced, one of the spouses dies or other event occur, there can be requirements listed in the premarital agreement.

Spousal support, its modification or it being eliminated can be part of the document. Estate planning and how it will be carried out is often in a premarital agreement. The agreement can state which laws will be used as to its construction. Finally, any other issue that does not violate the law can be in the premarital agreement. It is important to note that child support cannot be governed by a premarital agreement.

Once the spouses choose to get a divorce, it is imperative to know when the agreement will not be enforceable. There are situations in which a spouse claims not to have signed the agreement willingly. This could nullify it. If the agreement is determined to have been unconscionable (unfair) when it was signed and the person signing it was not given full disclosure as to the consequences of signing, did not waive the disclosure, or did not or could not have had sufficient knowledge of the other person’s circumstances, it could be invalidated. The court will decide if the premarital agreement was unfair.

The idea behind having a premarital agreement is for the person with the greater amount of assets to be protected from losing a substantial portion of it if there is a divorce. The party who entered the marriage without a similar amount of assets will generally know what he or she will receive if the marriage fails. When there is a high asset divorce and issues come up as to the validity of the premarital agreement, calling a law firm experienced in divorce law may be beneficial.

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