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Will your prenuptial agreement hold up in court?

Prenuptial agreements are an excellent tool couples can use to strengthen their relationship and protect each other from pressures brought on by complicated assets. When used correctly, prenuptial agreements offer marriages many protections that allow the marriage to flourish through circumstances that may sink other less prepared marriages. However, sometimes one spouse attempts to use a prenuptial agreement to give him or herself an unfair advantage, or to wield control over the other spouse. This is usually a shortcut to a prenuptial agreement that does not hold up under the scrutiny of the court.

Prenuptial agreements are not magic, and they do not grant special immunity against basic matrimony laws to those who use them. If a prenuptial agreement contains clauses that do not align with the law, either the clause itself or possibly the entire document may be deemed invalid by a judge.

This could happen in a variety of circumstances. If, for instance, one spouse attempts to use a prenuptial agreement to compel his or her spouse to agree to forego alimony in the event of divorce, a judge will probably just toss it out. In general, Florida does not allow spouses to waive alimony with a prenuptial agreement, although some states do allow for this.

Similarly, a judge will probably throw out an agreement that attempts to dictate personal, rather than financial, issues. This might mean that the agreement features rules about who does what around the house, in the kitchen, in the bedroom and so on. Prenuptial agreements generally apply to financial matters, not solely personal matters.

It is usually wise to protect yourself and your spouse with a prenuptial agreement that strengthens your marriage. However, it is crucial that you keep your rights and privileges protected in the process. Be mindful to consider all the legal counsel you need to create an agreement that protects and builds up your interests, your marriage and your spouse to be.

Source: Findlaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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