Are you considering a prenuptial agreement before you and your fiancé get married? This is often a wise decision no matter your age, wealth, or whether you have children. A prenuptial agreement is a useful tool to plan for the future, and it is becoming increasingly commonplace for people in all walks of life, throughout the U.S.
Working with an experienced attorney is important if you are interested in arranging a prenuptial agreement. The same applies if your fiancé has asked that you sign a prenuptial agreement; having a legal professional review it before you sign can help ensure that you are treated fairly and that your interests as well as your fiancé’s are well-protected. At Orner Law, LLC, we assist clients throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
ABOUT PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS IN FLORIDA
“Prenupt” used to be considered a dirty word, a sign of mistrust before a marriage. Indeed, until 1970 in Florida, married couples had only limited authority to execute contracts defining their respective rights in the event of the dissolution of their marriage. When asked to enforce prenuptial agreements, most courts in the state found that the effect of such agreements was to facilitate or promote divorce and declared them unenforceable as contrary to public policy.
Today, however, prenuptial agreements are more common than ever and are actually a very useful way of protecting your assets, your children and your future. Almost no one enters into a marriage with the intention that it will end, but feelings change and unforeseen situations arise that may result in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement outlines a number of specific issues in the case of a divorce or the death of one spouse. This can make all the difference in life after a divorce or the loss of a spouse.
Prenuptial agreements generally are entered into because one or both parties wishes to establish or limit certain rights and responsibilities of each party in the event of the death of a spouse or the dissolution of their marriage. A prenuptial agreement may address such issues as:
Because it is considered a form of contract, a prenuptial agreement is governed by the general principles of contract law in Florida. As such, a prenuptial agreement will not be enforced when it is shown that one or both parties entered into it as the result of fraud, mistake, coercion, or duress. Moreover, the courts have recognized that there is a significant difference between a contract made between two unrelated parties in the marketplace and one between two spouses. As such, while courts lean toward enforcement of even incomplete or somewhat defective commercial contracts, the standards by which they determine the validity of a prenuptial agreement is considerably stricter.
The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which applies to prenuptial agreements executed in Florida on or after October 1, 2007, incorporates a test for enforcement of a prenuptial agreement. Under the Uniform Act, a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that the agreement was “unconscionable” when it was executed, and that before the agreement was executed, he or she:
- Was not provided fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party’s property or financial obligations
- Did not have adequate knowledge of the other party’s property or financial obligations; and
- Could not reasonably have had adequate knowledge of the other party’s property or financial obligations.
With offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, OrnerLaw, LLC serves clients throughout South Florida.
To learn more about prenuptial agreements and our rights in this regard, please contact a South Florida prenuptial agreement lawyer at Orner Law LLC today and schedule your initial consultation.