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Florida prenuptial agreements

In Florida, prenuptial agreements, called premarital agreements, are a type of contract people enter into prior to the marriage that become effective once the marriage occurs. Couples can sign agreements regarding such things as spousal support, property rights, division of assets, choice of law covering the agreement and how life insurance proceeds will be distributed in the event a death occurs. Premarital agreements cannot contain a clause adversely affecting the right of a child to future support, however.

In addition to defining what categories couples can choose to include in a premarital agreement, the law provides a mechanism by which either spouse can challenge pre-existing prenuptial agreements in the event of a divorce to prevent them from being enforced. Agreements will be held to be unenforceable if a spouse can prove one of several things occurred.

Courts will refuse to enforce a premarital agreement if one spouse proves they did not enter into it voluntarily, or that the agreement was entered into due to fraud or coercion or was signed under duress. If a party is able to prove they were not provided fair and accurate information regarding the other person's property, assets and debts, did not waive their rights to such disclosures and had no way of knowing about the other person's property, courts may find the agreement unenforceable due to it being unconscionable.

A family law attorney can assist a client who want to enter into a premarital agreement by making certain the contract covers everything fairly, accurately and completely. Such an attorney can also evaluate a premarital agreement that was already signed for a client that is divorcing. In either situation, attorneys will represent their client's best interests in drafting or defending a prenuptial agreement.

Source: Online Sunshine, "Chapter 61 - Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Time-Sharing", September 30, 2014

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