Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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When can prenuptial agreements be unenforceable in Florida?

If a Florida couple decides to divorce, there are times when they had an agreement prior to the marriage if the union failed. While prenuptial agreements are frequently viewed as a protective strategy with a high asset divorce, these agreements can be a part of any marriage. When there is one party who signed it but would like to try and dispute its validity, the law has certain criteria regarding its enforcement. Knowing the law can help both sides.

The prenuptial agreement - also referred to as a premarital agreement - will not be enforceable if the party who is facing its enforcement shows that it was not agreed to voluntarily; if it was agreed to because of coercion, fraud, duress or overreaching; or the agreement was unconscionable at the time it was executed. Prior to the execution of the agreement, the party must have the following in place: a reasonable and fair disclosure was not given to the party as to the financial obligations and property of the other party, that they placed in writing their decision to waive the right to have the property and financial obligations disclosed beyond what was provided and did so voluntarily and did not and could not know of the other party's property and financial obligations.

If there is a provision in the agreement that will modify or eliminate the need for spousal support and it causes one party to be eligible to get public assistance when the marriage is dissolved or the couple is separated, the court might stipulate that the other party provide support. The court will decide on whether the agreement is unconscionable or not based on the law.

For those who have prenuptial agreements as part of their marriage and are in the middle of a divorce, it is important to understand the enforcement laws. If there is a concern about the agreement, speaking to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these issues, divorce and spousal support can be helpful.

Source: leg.state.fl.us, "61.079 Premarital agreements. -- (7) Enforcement.," accessed on Jan. 2, 2017

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