Some Texas premarital agreements may include a binding arbitration clause. A party may compel arbitration when the claims at issue are within the scope of a valid and enforceable agreement to arbitrate. If the claim falls within the agreement’s scope and there is no defense to enforcing it, the court must compel arbitration. Fraud may be a defense against compelled arbitration, but the party must show that the fraud was specifically related to the arbitration provision.
A husband recently appealed a denial of his motion for arbitration in his divorce proceeding. The parties signed a premarital agreement that included an arbitration clause. The wife filed a petition for divorce in July 2014. In 2016, she filed an amended petition. Neither petition mentioned the premarital agreement. The husband filed an answer in 2016, but did not mention the premarital agreement either.
In a second amended petition, the wife stated there was a premarital agreement and requested it be set aside and vacated. She alleged she entered into it involuntarily and that it was unconscionable.