It has become rather common for a couple to have a prenuptial agreement before a marriage. Many people are getting married at a much older age and with a 50% success rate of marriages it is important to have a backup plan should the marriage not play out as expected.
Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) was enacted in the state of Florida in 2007. The law was created to provide a set of rules for – ‘how a prenuptial agreement must be created’, and ‘when it may become null and void’. Under the law a prenuptial agreement is to be signed voluntarily and there must not be possibility of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching by any of the party for the prenuptial agreement to be legal and absolutely valid.
Valid: Voluntary & Educated
A prenuptial agreement must be signed willingly by the future spouse, and it will only be considered valid if the spouse has a decent understanding on the full value of their future spouse’s worth. A person must provide the following items to their future spouse prior to the signing of the prenuptial agreement:
- A close estimate on the value of the income, assets, and property.
- An opportunity to review any information that is disclosed. A prenuptial agreement that is sprung on an unsuspecting party days before a marriage will often not hold up in court.
The Non-Disclosure must be Significant
The amount of the undisclosed should be significant enough to reshape the value of the richer of the two. This means that if the wealthier spouse disclosed their value at $20 million and they happened to have another savings account for $5,000 then the courts would most likely not see this amount is enough to consider the contract invalid on its own.
The burden of proof is up to the spouse that is seeking to invalidate the agreement. It will be their responsibility alone to prove that the prenuptial was acquired by breaking one of the exceptions of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching. There are a lot of reasons for why someone would want a prenuptial agreement, and it is important that both parties are fully informed before they agree to the terms and conditions of the agreement.
There are many other ways that a prenuptial agreement may become invalid, but those must be written into the agreement itself. The prenuptial agreement may suggest that it will become invalid if either party is engaged in an affair outside marriage. This is a rule of the actual agreement and not a law. The only other way that a prenuptial agreement may be pushed aside is if the agreement removes any financial support from the spouse which would in turn cause them to look out for government aid. It is mentioned in the Florida Law that the spouse will then be required to provide some kind of financial assistance so that the other spouse will not end up on government aid.
For help enforcing your prenuptial agreement, or determining if the prenuptial agreement you signed may actually be unenforceable under Florida law. For further advice and assistance, consult a good Family Lawyer in Florida.