If you had the hindsight to devise and sign a prenuptial agreement prior to legalizing your Florida marriage, you may feel comfortable in the knowledge that you and your assets are protected in the event of a divorce. However, while premarital agreements do protect both parties’ interests in a separation, they are not always valid. If you signed your prenup under certain circumstances, or if you or your spouse withheld certain information at the time you created your prenup, the courts may deem your premarital contract null and void.
Florida Statutes, Section 61.079, details precisely what may render a premarital agreement non-enforceable. Per the statute, a judge may declare a contract void if either party can prove that he or she did not execute the agreement voluntarily. The judge may also deem the agreement invalid if the agreement was the product of duress, fraud, overreaching or coercion.
An agreement that was unconscionable either when it was executed or before it was executed is also not enforceable in the state of Florida. An unconscionable agreement is one that two parties created and signed without one or both parties providing a fair and reasonable disclosure of financial obligations or assets. If one party wishes to keep certain information hidden, the other party must voluntarily and expressly waive his or her right to disclosure in writing.
A Florida prenuptial agreement cannot waive one’s right child support. If your agreement does, the court may deem it, or, at the very least, the provision in question, invalid. If a provision of a premarital contract eliminates or modifies alimony and that modification causes one party to become eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation, the court may require spousal support regardless. Finally, the courts may deem a prenuptial agreement invalid if the marriage itself is void.
The information in this post is not meant to serve as legal advice. It is provided strictly for informational purposes.