How to avoid the most frequent slips in Prenuptial agreements.
Prenuptial agreements are designed to ensure that certain agreed upon terms and conditions are met in the event of a Florida divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a useful tool for protecting estates and various assets, but key mistakes must be avoided as well.
In some cases, prenuptial agreement missteps can invalidate the agreement and render the agreed upon terms meaningless. Here are three critical and common prenup mistakes that marrying Florida couples must avoid.
Using the Prenuptial Agreement to Resolve Child Support or Time-Sharing Issues
In the state of Florida, prenuptial agreements may not be used to agree to child support amounts or custody decisions. Florida family law courts will have the final say on this issue, using state statutes to determine child support based on the best interests of any children.
Similarly, any provision that deals with child custody and visitation will not be upheld by a Florida court. The court reserves the right to decide what is in the child’s best interests, and that includes time-sharing arrangements and the child’s relationship with both parents. As such, Florida couples creating a prenuptial agreement should forego any inclusion of child support and/or custody provisions in the prenup.
Signing a Prenuptial Agreement Under Duress or Agreeing to Terms Without Full Disclosure
The general idea of a prenuptial agreement is that both parties are fairly and freely entering into a contract that will govern any divorce that may happen in the future. However, this principle flies out the window when a soon-to-be spouse is pressured into signing the agreement under duress. Utilizing threats or similar levels of improper influence will lead to the invalidation of the agreement.
Similarly, if one party does not fully disclose their assets, properties and debts, a court may choose to invalidate the prenup. All relevant information must be disclosed since parties are expected to contract based on accurate and honest assessments of what is being agreed to in the prenup.
Creating a Prenup Without Using an Attorney or Utilizing Independent Legal Representation
One of the biggest (if not the biggest) pitfalls that may arise during a prenup is not involving a lawyer or independent legal representation. A Florida lawyer or independent legal representative will assess the documents being signed and will inform the parties of any legally invalid terms within the prenuptial agreement. This, in turn, ensures that couples will not be wasting their time by drafting and signing an agreement that is rendered invalid years later.
To avoid making avoidable mistakes, talk to a Florida family law attorney who helps couples draft and sign legally valid prenuptial agreements.
If you have any questions related to prenuptial agreements or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law, you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected].