Prenuptial Agreement Attorney in Jacksonville and Orange Park
Prenuptial Agreement in Florida Overview
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement a couple signs before marriage that decides how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are vital to both parties in situations where one party has substantial assets. These agreements must be drafted with great care and time. If a prenup is not handled carefully at the time of signing it can cause many future issues. While it is extremely important to thoroughly read and feel completely comfortable with any pre or postnuptial contracts before signing them, it is also vitally important to at the very least have the eyes of an unbiased attorney look over a prenuptial agreement to avoid major future issues.
Fighting a Florida Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Florida law allows for pre- or postnuptial agreements to be tossed out under certain specific circumstances. Having a prenuptial agreement invalidated can be difficult. The court will not invalidate a prenup due to adultery, not having read the agreement at the time of signing, any changes in circumstance, or not having legal representation at the time of signing. The court will not even throw away a prenuptial agreement that is obviously a “bad deal.” This means that even if an unconscionable and clearly unfair deal is not grounds to throw away a prenuptial agreement. There are, however, Florida statutes 61.079 detail how and when a pre- or postnuptial agreement can be set aside or invalidated.
Some of these situations include:
- Fraud: If the other ex-spouse knowingly concealed debt, lied about his or her assets, or made some other statement during signing that was later proven to be false, this could be considered fraud and may prevent the spouse from enforcing the agreement against the defrauded spouse.
- Duress, Overreaching, or Coercion: or a “condition of mind produced by an improper external pressure or influence that practically destroys the free agency of a party.” A person acts under duress when they are pressured into performing a certain action by threats or acts of violence. A court could also invalidate a prenuptial agreement on the grounds of duress if the benefitting spouse is blackmailed into signing it or if the agreement was presented too close to the actual marriage forcing the benefitting spouse to sign involuntarily.
- Agreement: If both parties agree they can sign an amendment changing their prenuptial agreement at any time.
Defending a Prenup Agreement
The burden of throwing out a prenuptial agreement is on the person who desires getting rid of it. The person defending the contract must only defend the contract, which may entail rebutting one of the arguments mentioned above. The best way to defend a prenup is to make sure it is ironclad at the time of signing. To ensure an prenuptial agreement is not set aside due to lack of financial disclosure it is wise to take three key steps:
- Keep signed and executed financial affidavits attached to the prenuptial agreement
- Create an itemized statement of assets to keep attached to the prenuptial agreement
- Disclose all bank statements to your spouse.
Reach out to our Prenuptial Agreement Law Firm in Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida
The courts look at prenuptial agreements with more scrutiny than they look at an everyday business contract because of the emotional complexity that goes into their signing and creation. Typically, courts will enter into conflicts regarding prenuptial agreements assuming they are valid and enforceable documents.
If you need to contest a prenuptial agreement, it is the job of your family attorney to prove the agreement you signed should be thrown away for valid reasons. This is a very difficult task to undertake and carries huge consequences to both parties involved; therefore, it should be treated with great expertise and care.