Many couples sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. This legal document can establish certain assets as separate property, designate how you and your spouse will share assets in a divorce and create a plan for spousal support.
However, the court will not always accept the terms of a prenuptial agreement. In Florida, courts use the federal Uniform Premarital Agreement Act to determine whether an agreement is legally binding when a divorce occurs. In addition, when the couple receives an annulment, the judge typically will not uphold the terms of a prenup.
Lack of consent
The court will find a prenuptial agreement invalid when both parties have not signed it. In addition, either spouse can challenge the agreement, but he or she must prove fraud, duress or coercion for the challenge to be successful. According to the law, only the threat of psychological or physical harm constitutes duress.
Both spouses must also consent to changes in the prenuptial agreement in writing. Failure to do so may render these changes invalid.
In certain circumstances, the court may find that the prenuptial agreement is so unfair that it is actually illegal. The judge may make this ruling if the spouse challenging the agreement:
- Did not know and could not reasonably have known the other person’s financial situation before signing the agreement
- Did not receive a full disclosure of assets before signing the agreement
- Did not waive the right to receive disclosure in writing
- Would be unable to support himself or herself under the terms of the prenuptial agreement
If you and your spouse are planning to sign a prenuptial agreement, make sure to provide full financial disclosure before either person signs. Failure to do so may cause the document to be inadmissible in court if you ever divorce.
In addition, all terms of the prenuptial agreement must be legal in Florida. Couples can not designate child custody or support in a prenuptial agreement.