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Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Violated in Florida?
In Florida, prenuptial agreements can help parties protect their assets in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also help the divorcing parties manage the divorce by providing a plan on dividing property and how support may be awarded.
However, some parties may wonder whether they can void a prenuptial agreement when faced with divorce. If this is something you are questioning, below is information about prenuptial agreements in Florida and how they work.
What Makes a Valid Prenuptial Agreement According to Florida Law?
First, it is important to understand what Florida law allows to be in a prenuptial agreement.
According to Florida law, a prenuptial agreement can address the following things:
The rights and obligations of each party regarding any of the property of either of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
The right to buy, sell, or otherwise manage and control property;
The disposition of property upon separation, divorce, death, or any other event;
The treatment of spousal support;
The making of a will, trust, or other arrangements to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
The rights and treatment of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
The choice of law governing the agreement; and
Any other matter that is not in violation of either public policy or the law.
The agreement must be in writing, and both parties must have a chance to review it independently and sign it once they’ve agreed upon all terms.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Unenforceable or Void According to Florida Law?
Now that we know what a prenuptial agreement can address under Florida law, it is equally important to understand what makes a prenuptial agreement unenforceable or void. Florida law specifically states that certain things may make a prenuptial agreement unenforceable.
A Florida Prenuptial Agreement Must be Entered Into Voluntarily and be Free From Fraud, Duress, and Coercion
Essentially, Florida law requires that if parties enter into a prenuptial agreement, they must do so voluntarily. The agreement must also not result from fraud or one party intentionally misleading the other party to get them to enter the prenuptial agreement.
That the agreement must be free from duress or coercion means that there was no threat forcing one of the parties to enter into the prenuptial agreement.
A Florida Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Be Unconscionable When it was Entered Into
Unconscionability is a legal term essentially meaning unreasonable. A prenuptial agreement may also be considered unconscionable if it is unreasonably one-sided.
Florida law specifically states that a prenuptial agreement may be unenforceable for unconscionability if one of the parties:
Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
Did not voluntarily and expressly waive any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
Did not have adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
The court must decide whether a prenuptial agreement was unconscionable.
A Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Affect a Party’s Right to Support
Florida law prevents prenuptial agreements from negatively affecting a parent’s right to child support. Because child support is for the benefit of the child, it does not make sense to allow the parents (who at the time they enter into the premarital agreement may not even have children) to determine whether child support is appropriate and how much should be paid. That is a determination that the court should make.
Similarly, Florida law prohibits a prenuptial agreement that inappropriately deals with spousal support. The court may ignore a provision in a prenuptial agreement if it states that a party is not entitled to or limits a party’s right to spousal support, and that provision causes one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or divorce.
Contact an Orlando Family Lawyer For Help With a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements can be a valuable tool for divorcing parties if executed properly. If you have questions regarding the terms of a prenup agreement, contact an experienced Orlando family law attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.