How Do Prenuptial Agreements Work?

How Do Prenuptial Agreements Work?

Posted in Florida Family Law on March 2, 2022

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple enters before marriage that determines what will happen to their money and property if they get a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more common and are the best way to protect your assets in case of divorce. This article will explain how prenuptial agreements work in Florida so you can decide if one is right for you.

What Does A Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

A prenuptial or “premarital” agreement in Florida may specifically cover:

  • How the couple will divide their property if there is a divorce, death, or other event;
  • The couple’s ability to manage or control property during the marriage;
  • Issues related to alimony during a separation or divorce;
  • The division of retirement plans or pensions;
  • The proceeds of any life insurance policy;
  • Whether a Will shall be required to carry out the terms of the agreement; and
  • Which state’s laws will be used to interpret the agreement,

It is important to note that a prenuptial agreement cannot affect child custody and support.

What Makes A Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable?

For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable in Florida (as adopted from Federal law), it must:

  • Be in writing;
  • Signed by both of the parties; and
  • Not in violation of the law or public policy.

Note that the agreement only becomes enforceable when the couple gets married.

Reasons To Get A Prenuptial Agreement

  • You have assets you earned prior to your marriage that you want to keep separate.
  • You have children born prior to your marriage and want to keep assets separate for them.
  • You have business interests you want to keep separate.
  • You want to pre-determine alimony.

Marital property can be anything purchased or increased in value after the date of marriage. Without a prenuptial agreement, your marital assets will be divided “equitably” (equally). For instance, if you have a business before the marriage, your spouse would likely be entitled to half of the gains the company made during the marriage.

Can I Get Out Of A Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is not legally enforceable if it can be proven that:

  • The future spouse did not voluntarily sign it;
    • Ex: It wasn’t signed by the spouse
  • The agreement was only signed because of fraud, duress, coercion;
    • Ex: Spouse was tricked into signing or threatened with harm.
  • The agreement was extraordinarily unfair when it was signed, AND the spouse challenging the agreement:
    • wasn’t given a reasonable disclosure of the other spouse’s financial circumstances;
    • didn’t voluntarily waive in writing the right to receive their fair disclosure; and
    • didn’t know or couldn’t reasonably have known of the other spouse’s financial circumstances.

Florida Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

When dealing with a prenuptial agreement, it is important to contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you to have a legally sound agreement or, in the alternative, help you get out of an unenforceable one. Steven D. Miller, P.A. has decades of experience with family law matters, including prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, divorce, child support, and more. Get in touch with Steven D. Miller, P.A. by calling (877) 348-3354 or contacting us online