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How do I know if I need an attorney with appeals experience?

It doesn't much matter what legal issue you are dealing with. The law is complicated. As such, there is always a chance of an error being made. In Texas and every other state, the right to appeal a court decision exists, including many under family law. However, knowing whether an issue stands a chance of being won on appeal is something that comes with experience.

Whether your issue has to do with property division, child custody, support, or whether the prenuptial agreement you signed warrants a challenge, the prospect of an appeal deserves consideration. And the time to exercise that consideration is earlier, rather than later. There's a lot to be said for anticipation.

Specifically within the context of prenuptial agreements, it can be useful to understand some of the factors that can serve to invalidate such a contract. Considering the financial matters at stake if things go wrong, it is clear that clarity about assets and how they are to be handled in the event of a divorce is important for the protection of both parties.

With that in mind, here are some key reasons why prenuptial agreements could be invalid and appeals launched.

  1. The agreement is oral. To be enforceable, a pre- or postnuptial agreement must be in writing and properly executed.
  1. One party was pressured to sign. The pressure could come from the spouse-to-be, a family member or some representative. The pressure applied could come from someone without the benefitting spouse-to-be even knowing about it.
  1. You never read it. It could happen that in a moment of confusion that documents get put in front of you for a signature. You give it without reading them and find out later you've signed something away unintentionally. Parties must have adequate time to fully consider what they're signing.
  1. Conditions described prove to be false. Full disclosure isn't something you can be sure of. If it turns out that one spouse wasn't forthright about assets, income and liabilities when the prenuptial agreement was signed, it could be subject to appeal.

What can also make appeals a challenge are the rules of the court. There are specific filings to make and timelines to follow. Overlooking a small detail can be detrimental to achieving the desired outcome.

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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Fax: 713-600-1718
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