Challenging Premarital Agreements in Florida
A premarital agreement is an important document in any divorce and when drafted properly, they can provide a great deal of protection. However, if an agreement is found to be unfair you can challenge it in court, even if you have signed it. Below are the four most common reasons used when challenging a premarital agreement in Florida.
When you and your spouse entered into the premarital agreement, it was with the expectation that you and your spouse provided full disclosure. A premarital agreement is only valid if you and your spouse were completely transparent about your assets and liabilities during the process. You must typically complete a financial statement and provide any supporting financial documents so your fiancé and their attorney can review them.
If one or both of you were not honest when drafting your agreement, the court may find it invalid. Additionally, the party that did not provide full disclosure can face fees, sanctions, and other penalties for committing fraud.
The Agreement was Not Signed Voluntarily
For a court to deem a premarital agreement valid, you and your spouse must have signed it voluntarily. There are a number of situations in which it may be determined that you did not sign it voluntarily. For example, if your spouse demanded that you sign the agreement the night before the wedding or they would call it off, that is considered duress. You felt pressured into signing it and so, you did not sign it voluntarily.
If you were intoxicated at the time you signed the agreement, or you did not have the full capacity to understand it, that is also considered signing involuntarily. You do not have to prove one party was completely incompetent to challenge a premarital agreement on these grounds. For example, if you were sick and under the influence of certain medications when you signed the document, the court may determine you did not have the capacity to voluntarily sign an agreement.
The Agreement was Not Written
There is a strict process regarding the execution of premarital agreements in the Sunshine State and oral agreements are not honored. Your agreement must be in writing, and it cannot contain certain provisions. For example, your premarital agreement is mainly to resolve financial issues that arise during divorce. If you include other provisions, namely child custody and child support, a judge may deem it void. When doing this, a judge may invalidate only that portion, or the entire agreement.
The Agreement was Signed Without a Florida Family Lawyer
If your premarital agreement was not signed in the presence of a Port St. Lucie divorce lawyer, it is not automatic grounds to challenge it. However, a family lawyer will ensure you do not make any mistakes when drafting yours, and that it provides the necessary protection for you and your partner.
At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our knowledgeable attorneys know the rules and procedures to follow to ensure your agreement is not contested in court. If you are about to get married and need a premarital agreement, call us today at 772-905-8692 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.