West Palm Beach Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer
Prenuptial agreements are no longer reserved for the rich and famous. In modern times, a prenup can be an important and valuable aspect of any marriage. However, not all prenuptial agreements are fair; many are drafted in such a way as to protect one spouse entirely while leaving the other with next to nothing. If you are facing the prospect of divorce in Florida and your prenuptial agreement threatens to leave you out in the cold, our seasoned prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyers are ready to help protect your rights.
With over sixty years of combined experience, we are ready to leverage our experience in challenging or enforcing your prenuptial agreement. The Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. is ready to fight for you.
What Can a Prenup Include?
Florida statutes and case law dictate what a valid prenuptial agreement can and cannot cover. Certain rights and interests can be signed away via contract, while others cannot be restricted or signed away in a prenup. Typically, prenups are used to define each party’s financial rights and interests during and after the marriage. In Florida, a prenuptial agreement can be used to preemptively resolve the following issues:
- Each spouse’s ability to control or manage property during the marriage
- Equitable division of property upon divorce, death, or other events
- Spousal support/alimony/maintenance amount and duration upon separation or divorce
- Each party’s rights and obligations concerning assets and liabilities
- Division of retirement plans and pensions
- Treatment of life insurance policies
- Whether either spouse must put certain items in a will or trust
- Which state’s laws will be used to evaluate the agreement, should the prenup be contested
A prenuptial agreement cannot be used to establish child custody (parenting time) rights or limit child support. In Florida, child custody rights are determined according to the best interests of the children, not the rights or interests of the parents. While parents can agree to a settlement before or during the divorce, the agreement must ultimately be approved by the Court. Likewise, child support is a right that belongs to the child, not the parent; a prenup cannot be used to limit child support below the relevant Florida guidelines. Child support will be calculated at the time of divorce or separation in accordance with the parents’ respective incomes under the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The parents can come to an agreement, but the Court must approve the agreement.
How Can You Challenge a Prenup?
Not every prenup is valid and enforceable. As we discussed above, a prenup can only cover certain rights and obligations. First and foremost, any provisions of a prenup that go beyond its legal purview (such as circumscribing child support or child custody rights) will not be enforced by the Court. The parties can incorporate the same provisions into a divorce settlement, but they must be approved by the Court at the time of separation or divorce.
Even if all parts of the prenup are limited to the appropriate financial rights, there might still be additional grounds to challenge its enforceability. At the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A., we will help identify and pursue grounds to challenge the validity of an unfavorable prenup or defend against these claims. Some of the grounds under which people try to challenge prenuptial agreements include:
- The agreement was not voluntarily entered, meaning one party entered the agreement only due to fraud, coercion, or duress
- One party was not of sound mind when they entered the agreement because of illness, intoxication, or infancy (i.e., below the age of consent)
- One party was not permitted to have legal counsel review the agreement before signing
- The agreement was “unconscionable” (meaning unfair as a matter of law) when the couple signed it, and the challenging spouse was not given a fair and reasonable disclosure of the other spouse’s finances, assets, and debts
While an agreement will not be rendered unenforceable merely because it unfairly benefits one party, if the prenup is notably unfair, the Court may determine that there was not full and fair disclosure of one party’s assets. The party seeking to enforce the prenup would then have the burden of proving either that they did fully disclose their financial circumstances, that the challenging spouse knew about their financial circumstances regardless of whether they disclosed, or that the challenging spouse agreed in writing to waive their right to full disclosure of assets and liabilities. However, if the agreement is so lopsided that it would leave one spouse in utter destitution, the Court might not enforce the prenup.
A seasoned Florida prenup attorney can review your prenup and your circumstances and help you determine if there is a reason to challenge the validity of the agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenup, except it is entered into after the marriage. A postnup can cover the same topics and issues as a prenup. The postnup must be made in good faith and free from fraud, deceit, coercion, or trickery in order to be valid and enforceable. Moreover, like other contracts, some form of “consideration” must be offered by both parties; the postnup cannot simply give one party significant protection without the other party getting something in return. Unlike a prenup, the marriage itself cannot be the consideration for a postnup. If you or your spouse is interested in a postnuptial agreement, or if you are seeking to challenge the validity of a postnup, talk to a savvy Florida family law attorney for advice and assistance.
Contest an Unfair Prenup With Help From a Zealous Florida Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
If you feel disadvantaged by your Florida prenup or your spouse is challenging a valid prenup, you might have grounds to fight back; we can help. The savvy Florida prenuptial agreement attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. have more than 60 years of combined experience helping Florida family law clients get the results they deserve. For help dealing with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, or statewide, call the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. at 561-688-5006 today!