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Your prenuptial agreement may be invalid in Florida

Before choosing to walk down the aisle, you and your partner may have thought a great deal about individual assets and marital property. You may have even done some contingency planning to help you prepare for an unlikely divorce. If you have a prenuptial agreement, though, you should realize that it may not be legally valid. 

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that spouses enter before their marriage. These agreements typically record the property that each party owns and outline individual rights after the marriage ends. Like any contract, though, prenuptial agreements must meet some legal criteria. In Florida, there are a few different grounds that may render such an agreement invalid. While not a complete list, here are some important ones: 

Overreaching 

In the Sunshine State and elsewhere, individuals enjoy wide latitude to form contracts. That is, courts usually defer to each party’s judgment when evaluating legal agreements. Nonetheless, if a prenuptial agreement is unconscionably one-sided, a judge may find it to be unenforceable. 

Fraud 

For contracts to be valid, they must not be fraudulent. In the context of a prenuptial agreement, fraud may arise if one party is not honest about assets or makes other material misrepresentations. Also, if your spouse duped you into signing the agreement, a judge may determine that fraud prevents the contract’s enforcement. 

Duress 

You must willingly execute legal contracts for them to be binding. If your spouse threatened to harm you or your family members if you did not sign the prenuptial agreement, it is probably not valid. Duress typically does not need to be so extreme, though. If you felt tremendous pressure to enter into the agreement, you should probably explore whether it is enforceable. 

If you are heading for divorce court, you must understand your options and your legal rights. While these are three common ways to void a prenuptial agreement, you may have other alternatives.

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