Some Key Things To Know About Premarital Agreements In Florida
When some people see “prenuptial agreement,” they think “rich movie star.” Indeed, a generation ago, super-rich couples were usually the only ones who worried about premarital agreements in family law matters. The laws were very inconsistent, even from county to county and certainly from state to state.
But by the late 1990s, most all states, including Florida, had approved the Uniform Marital And Premarital Agreements Act. The UMPAA standardized and clarified the law. The tangled web of court cases which once defined the law now merely interpret it. Moreover, a Florida premarital agreement is probably valid in Alabama, Georgia, and most all other states, at least to a considerable extent. So, in addition to rich movie stars, most people who are tying the knot for a second or subsequent time should probably consider a premarital agreement.
Making Premarital Agreements in Port St. Lucie
Even if these pacts did nothing more than divide property outside the emotional cauldron of divorce, they would be worthwhile. However, premarital agreements can do much more.
Port St. Lucie couples who regularly disagree about money are much more likely to get divorced. Premarital agreements remove this source of stress. In addition to dividing houses and other property, they can also deal with debts. This latter issue comes up frequently, as for example, many people repay their nonmarital student loan debts with money from their paychecks, which is marital property. From this perspective, a prenuptial agreement is more like divorce prevention than divorce insurance.
Back to the earlier point about subsequent marriages. Divorce in Florida and elsewhere ends all inheritance and succession rights, even if that’s not the person’s intent. A prenuptial agreement clarifies these questions, especially with regard to a family-owned business.
In fact, premarital agreements can cover almost any topic that is not against public policy. Child support and child custody are the two biggest exceptions.
Breaking a Premarital Agreement in Port St. Lucie
A challenging spouse may overturn a premarital agreement if it was involuntary or is unconscionable. Both these words have very specific meanings.
Signing a premarital agreement in Port St. Lucie is almost never a completely voluntary act. There is almost always at least a little duress. Such pressure, even something like a sign-or-else ultimatum, does not make the agreement involuntary. Instead, the agreement is involuntary only if the challenging party had no free will. Items like the timing of the agreement, the lack of separate counsel, and limited understanding are relevant here.
Additionally, under the UPMAA, involuntariness also means that the challenging spouse did not have access to all financial information and the omitted information materially affected the decision to sign.
There is no percentage definition for “unconscionable” in Florida, but it is almost certainly greater than 60-40 and possibly even 70-30. Moreover, again under the UPMAA, the agreement must have been unconscionable at the time it was made. Husband might agree to let Wife have a large number of worthless stock options in exchange for a small cash payout. If those options are worth a fortune later, Husband cannot successfully challenge the agreement.
Partner with Assertive Lawyers
Premarital agreements make marriages stronger. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We stand up for your legal and financial rights in divorce cases.