Common Mistakes to Avoid with a Florida Prenuptial Agreement
Before signing a prenuptial agreement, it’s imperative that you take time to ensure you completely understand the legal ramifications of the document you are signing. When drafted fairly and correctly, prenuptial agreements can be good tools for protecting someone getting into a marriage. Even if you do not consider yourself wealthy, it’s important to protect your individual assets.
If you need a prenuptial agreement drafted, you need to speak with a skilled Boca Raton prenuptial & postnuptial agreement lawyer who has experience drafting prenuptial and post-marital agreements. Here are several mistakes to avoid making when you’re planning a prenuptial agreement.
Don’t Use Ambiguous Language
A prenuptial agreement, like any contract, needs to have clear and concise language. You don’t want there to be room for mistakes or for someone to misinterpret something down the line. In order to be enforceable, the court will look to the legal wording of the document. They will not enforce something that is ambiguous or unclear.
Don’t Coerce a Signature or Use Fraud
One way to guarantee the court will throw your prenuptial agreement out the window is to coerce your partner into signing it. You can use many different tactics, but they all lead back to coercion and no enforceable prenuptial agreement. Coercion can include threats, blackmail, or undue pressure.
If one spouse doesn’t reveal all their assets and debts to the other, the courts may consider the agreement to be fraudulent. If one partner doesn’t really know accurate information on the other partner’s assets and/or debts, then how can they truly know the agreement is in their best interest.
One-Sided Agreement and/or Unfair Provisions
Even if your partner understands what they are signing, the court still may not enforce it if there are sections that are blatantly unfair to one side. For example, if the marital estate is primarily given to one spouse only, the courts are going to state the agreement is too one-sided to be enforceable.
You cannot include unfair provisions that require your spouse to maintain a particular weight the whole marriage for example. Unfair provisions like that can weaken your overall prenuptial agreement and the court may opt to throw the entire thing out.
Don’t Use the Same Lawyer
If your partner comes to you with a prenuptial agreement and tells you that you can run it by his or her attorney, that is a red flag to consider. You should have your own independent counsel review the agreement. Obviously, the attorney who drafted it will have his or her client’s best interests in mind, and you need your own independent legal counsel who can tell you whether or not the agreement is unfair.
Not Making the Prenuptial Agreement Legal
You need to make the agreement legal, and that process begins by having independent counsel review and advise you on the next steps. It doesn’t do any good to talk about having it done, sign the documents, but then never have it made official.
If you need help with drafting a prenuptial agreement in Florida, or you have questions about one you were presented with, contact the attorneys at Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 to schedule a consultation.