5 Reasons Why Your Prenuptial Agreement May Be Unenforceable in Florida
Over 40% of all marriages in America end in divorce. That is the principal reason I have stressed to my clients over the years the importance of signing a prenuptial agreement if they want to drastically decrease the chances of getting involved in a messy divorce trial should they divorce. A well-prepared Prenuptial Agreement will resolve most of the issues that would otherwise have to be tried in Court.
However, having a Prenuptial Agreement is not a guarantee that your funds and assets will be protected in the event of a divorce. Many Prenuptial agreements are declared invalid in Florida every year.
If you are thinking about attempting to draft a Prenuptial Agreement yourself, do not do it yourself to avoid the risk of your Prenuptial Agreement being voided by a Florida court. You need legal assistance from an experienced Florida Prenuptial Agreement attorney to help you draft a valid and enforceable agreement that can withstand a Court challenge.
What are the most common reasons why a Florida court might invalidate a Prenuptial Agreement:
1. Undisclosed Income and Assets.
In Florida, if you hide the existence of substantial assets and income from your fiancé and fail to disclose them on your Prenuptial Agreement, the Prenuptial Agreement will likely be set aside by the Florida Court because it contains false information regarding your income and/or assets.
It is vital for both parties disclose everything they own when drafting a Prenuptial Agreement. Speak with an experienced Florida Prenuptial Agreement attorney if you believe that your fiancé is hiding their true income or assets from you. In that event do NOT sign the Agreement until the true financial facts are disclosed!
2. Improperly Executed Prenuptial Agreement
If you prepare your own Prenuptial Agreement, there is a good chance that it will not be properly executed. Florida courts recognize Prenuptial Agreements that are in writing and signed before the wedding. Thus, if your Prenuptial Agreement is merely an oral agreement or if it is signed after the wedding, it is not properly executed and would-be invalidated by the Florida Court.
Florida law generally requires that you sign a Prenuptial Agreement in the presence of two witnesses and a notary. Signing a Prenuptial Agreement before a notary public and two witnesses would help prevent the other party from saying that their signature was forged or that they signed the Agreement under duress. We can also video the execution of the Prenuptial Agreement.
3. Prenuptial Agreement Signed Under Fraud or Duress.
If a Prenuptial Agreement is based on fraud, or was signed under duress, the Prenuptial Agreement will be ruled invalid. Also, if one party was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when signing the Prenuptial Agreement, they may argue that they lacked mental capacity.
Duress is one of the most common reasons why people seek to invalidate their Prenuptial Agreement, but duress is frequently difficult to prove in Court. Being represented by an experienced Prenuptial Agreement attorney as well as signing the Agreement in the presence of two witnesses and a notary public can usually defeat claims that the agreement was signed under duress of fraud.
4. Prenuptial Agreement is Clearly Unfair or Contains Illegal Provisions
A Prenuptial Agreement cannot be clearly unfair or contain any provisions that violate Florida or federal laws. If it does, the Prenuptial Agreement will be declared invalid.
5. The Prenuptial Agreement Contains Invalid Family Law Provisions
The main purpose of Prenuptial Agreements is to determine in advance asset distribution and alimony between the parties. Florida law is clear That a Pre-nuptial Agreement cannot contain any provisions related to child support nor child custody. If a pre-nuptial Agreement were to contain provisions relating to child custody or child support, those provisions would definitely be geld unenforceable by the Court.
If you need a Prenuptial Agreement properly prepared in compliance with all Florida laws, you should consult with an experienced Prenuptial Agreement attorney. Contact our office at 941-727-5555 to schedule a Free Consultation. We also offer Saturday and Evening appointments if you do not wish to have to take off from work or hire childcare.