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Signed Agreements to Marry Your Affair Partner in the Future Are Not Enforceable


Before you marry your spouse, you can agree to almost anything in a prenuptial agreement.  You can agree that real estate that you owned before the marriage will be yours if you divorce.  You can agree not to seek alimony or specify the maximum amount that you will seek.  You can agree not to burden your spouse with your pre-marital debts.  You can agree that, if a civil court dissolves your marriage, you will not place any obstacles to dissolving your marriage under the laws of your religion.  You can even specify which of you will keep which family pets if you divorce.  Agreements about children who have not yet been born are off limits, however; you can’t say in a prenup that you will divorce your wife if she gets pregnant or if she fails to become pregnant within a certain amount of time.  The idea is that the courts do not foreordain the existence of children or, for that matter, marriages.  Consult a prenuptial agreement lawyer about which agreements can and cannot be legally binding for future married couples.

Fiancé Is Not a Legal Term

When someone promises to marry you and then changes their mind, it is disappointing to say the least.  Unlike a marriage, an engagement is not a legal term.  Sometimes people whose marriage plans fall apart before the wedding day end up in legal battles over who keeps the engagement ring, for example, but these are disputes about property, not about relationships.  In fact, the court refuses to interfere in people’s romantic relationships until after a marriage certificate is signed, except in the case of domestic violence.

The Court Cannot and Will Not Protect You from a Dishonest Affair Partner

Brian Boyd was married when he began dating his co-worker Gina Hoffman, who was also married, in 1992.  About a year into their relationship, they signed a written agreement about the future of their relationship.  They agreed that both parties would file for divorce from their respective spouses and marry each other within a year of their divorces becoming final.  The agreement stipulated that, if Brian failed to marry Gina within the indicated timeframe, he would financially support her indefinitely, including paying for her housing, car, and utilities.  Presumably because of their employer’s policy against romantic relationships between co-workers, Gina her job; she also filed for divorce from her husband.  Brian rented an apartment for Gina and promised to move in, but a year later, he had not moved in with Gina or filed for divorce from his wife.  Gina went to court to try to enforce the agreement.  The court ruled that the agreement was unenforceable, citing a law that attempts to get a court to enforce “promise of marriage” agreements is a criminal misdemeanor.  The judge acknowledged that Brian’s conduct was dishonorable, but that, from a legal standpoint, Gina was out of luck.

Let Us Help You Today

It is a good idea to talk about finances before marriage and to put your decisions in writing.  It is a bad idea to make unrealistic promises.  Contact the Boca Raton divorce lawyers at Schwartz | White for a consultation.




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