Q: My husband had me sign away my rights to his house when we married. I have now lived in this house with him for 18 years
Do I have any rights to the home?
A: It is essential for you to consult with an attorney to share the details of your specific circumstances. Kansas law allows for prenuptial (before marriage) agreements. K.S.A. 23-2401, et seq. The agreement must be in writing (23-2403) and may only be amended after marriage in writing (23-4306). The agreement could be unenforceable if not signed voluntarily or if unconscionable (and assets were not disclosed, a voluntary waiver of further disclosure was not signed, and the party could not have had adequate knowledge of the assets and obligations of the other party (23-4307). Equitable defenses limiting the time of enforcement (e.g., laches or estoppel) are available. (23-4308). The statute is to be applied and construed to make the law uniform among the states enacting a uniform prenuptial agreement statute, so the development of case law in other states may have an impact. (23-4709). Kansas law provides spouses with rights in the home or property of the other spouse. Homestead (Article 15 Section 9, Kansas Constitution), and spousal rights to one-half of real estate disposed of without spousal consent (K.S.A. 59-505) provide rights that may survive unless addressed in a prenuptial/postnuptial agreement and given effect. Your question may not be answered with a “yes” or a “no” until an attorney learns the context.
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