Prenup: I didn't tell my wife about some property

Posted by William H. Sherman on Nov 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

Question:    I need to know if my prenup is enforceable.  Before I got married I disclosed almost all of my assets to my wife.  I told her just about everything I own; she knew about 99% of what I had.  But I never disclosed a piece of property in Texas because I didn't think it had any value and I bought it for a small sum. But now that's changed.

I just got an offer for the property for a lot of money.  There's oil on the property, I was told.  Now an oil company wants to buy it from me to explore for crude.  I know oil is not selling for what it used to a year ago, but they're still offering me a ton of money for the rights to drill on it.  They say there's a lot down there.

I need to know how this oversight is going to affect my prenuptial agreement with my wife.  Like I said, I thought the land was basically worthless and I pretty much forgot about it.  But now that it has oil under it, it's worth real money.  Now I'm worried about getting divorced.

K.L. in Milton, GA

Answer:    The property with oil that you didn't disclose on the prenup can be treated by a court in different ways, depending on the judge.  A judge may find that the rest of the prenup is enforceable, but the oil property is not included in the prenup and the judge will make a decision as to how it should be treated.  It is possible, however, that a judge could invalidate the entire prenup if he or she believes that you didn't disclose the property because you were trying to hide it from your wife; that's fraud.

All property, no matter how seemingly worthless, should be identified for the prenup.  So, again, the property should have been declared.  The question is now, how will a judge handle your lack of disclosure.

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