In our previous post, we spoke briefly about prenuptial agreements and what they can and cannot deal with in Florida. As we noted, there are certain limitations as far as the types of provisions prenuptial agreements may deal with, but there is also a lot they can address. Here we want to talk about the requirements for setting up a valid prenuptial agreement, as well as their enforceability.
First of all, Florida law requires prenuptial agreements to be in writing and signed by both parties to be valid. The agreement does not need to involve the exchange of money or other “consideration” to be valid, other than the marriage itself. Second of all, there are several conditions under which a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable. Let’s take a look at those.
Courts may decline to enforce prenuptial agreements whenever they are executed involuntarily, or as a result of fraud, coercion, duress or overreaching. In practice, these elements may be combined in a situation where a party is presented with an agreement shortly before the wedding and signs onto it without having enough time to consider it carefully. Such cases can also involve threats of calling off the marriage, losing financial support, or some other form of pressure. In other cases, a party may sign the agreement voluntarily, but without being fully informed about the other spouse’s financial situation.
Regardless of the specific circumstances, agreements which are signed without a party’s full knowledge of the circumstances and complete consent may be unenforceable. This is why it is important to work with an experienced attorney, to ensure that one’s rights are protected before one signs onto a bad agreement.
In our next post, we’ll look at unconscionability and prenuptial agreements.