Reasons Your Florida Prenuptial Agreement Might be Invalid
Prenuptial agreements can be a useful tool for couples when contemplating marriage, provided they are enforceable. They can establish financial rights and protect assets and businesses, but if they are not done correctly, you could find that what you thought was protected in case of divorce is now completely vulnerable.
If you plan to draft a prenuptial agreement before your wedding, do not attempt to do it yourself. Getting assistance from a skilled Florida prenuptial agreement attorney will help ensure your agreement stands up in court in the event the marriage does not work out.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons your prenuptial agreement may not stand up in a Florida court.
Not Properly Executed
One of the main reasons a prenuptial agreement could become invalid is that it was not properly executed in the first place. These types of agreements must be in writing, so an oral agreement is not valid. And, if it was not signed before the wedding, it would no longer be a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement also requires a wedding to take place for it to be valid. If you shared assets before the wedding and the wedding didn’t take place, the prenuptial agreement is not valid.
In Florida, the law requires there be two witnesses and a notary if the prenuptial agreement includes real estate holdings. The added benefit here is that it keeps the other side from claiming a signature was forged. In addition, you should never sign a prenuptial agreement the other side’s attorney had drawn up without having it reviewed with your own independent counsel.
Agreement Based on Fraud or Duress
If one side makes fraudulent declarations or forces the other side to sign, a family court judge may rule the prenup is invalid. If only one side has signed it, the court will not honor it. Duress is one of the main reasons people claim a prenuptial agreement is invalid, but it’s also one of the hardest to win. If the other party claimed they were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time, they can argue mental incapacity. This is why having the agreement reviewed with your own counsel, as well as witnesses and a notary, can protect you from these types of claims.
Unconscionable or Contains Invalid Provisions
If an agreement is grossly one sided and unfair, the judge is likely to throw it out. Creating a prenuptial agreement that leaves one spouse with extreme financial hardships is what’s known as an unconscionable contract.
You cannot have any provisions that violate any laws. It’s true you can address almost everything in a prenuptial agreement, but it still has to be legal or you run the risk of having it thrown out.
Failure to Disclose
Trying to hide assets and income on a prenuptial agreement will only result in all your assets and income becoming part of the marital asset distribution as the judge will say the prenup is invalidated since it had false information.
Contact a Boca Raton Family Law Attorney
If you need a prenuptial agreement drafted or you have been presented with one for review, contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White in Boca Raton. Let us help with your prenuptial agreement and any other family law matters that arise.