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How do prenuptial agreements work in Florida?

Readers are familiar with the basic idea of prenuptial agreements and why couples use them. It is common knowledge that these agreements are often used among celebrities, business owners and the wealthy in general. Because the law governing prenuptial agreements varies by state, we like to take the opportunity to write about the basics of prenuptial agreements in the state of Florida.

Prenuptial agreements are not always enforceable, of course. There are requirements regarding how they are to be set out, what they may deal with, what they may not deal with and the manner in which the agreement is reached. Agreements which violate these rules may not be effective in divorce.

First of all, it is important to note that prenuptial agreements in Florida must be signed by both parties and in writing to be validly executed. Failure to properly execute a prenuptial agreement can render the document ineffective upon divorce. Also, the document is not effective immediately, but at the time the couple is married, and it may only be altered, revoked or abandoned after the marriage by a written document signed by both parties. So, it is clearly important for couples to get their wishes down in writing and signed, both prior to marriage and after marriage when there has been a change of mind.  

In terms of what prenuptial agreement can deal with in Florida, state statute specifies that couples can establish the rights and obligations of parties to any of their property. This includes how property is to be assigned not only in the event of separation or divorce, but also in the event of death or “the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.” The latter phrase suggests that couples have the ability to do more with their agreement than is commonly assumed.

In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this topic, particularly how prenuptial agreements are enforced in the state of Florida.

Source: Florida Legislature, “The 2014 Florida Statutes: Title VI; Chapter 61,” Accessed Nov. 17, 2014. 

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