Hahamovitch v. Hahamovitch: Prenuptial Agreements
A well-researched, legally sound, and carefully crafted prenuptial agreement can serve to protect the interests and assets of both parties. Unintended issues and problems can occur, however, if a prenuptial agreement is poorly written. Even if both parties agree to the covenants and conditions of a prenuptial agreement, existing law and legal decisions can alter or void provisions.
One such example is Hahamovitch vs Hahamovitch, a case involving a prenuptial agreement between Dianne L. and Harry Hahamovitch.
In this case, the Fourth District Court of Appeals certified that there was conflict in previous court rulings by the Second and Third Districts, while ruling on the following:
“Where a prenuptial agreement provides that neither spouse will ever claim any interest in the other’s property, states that each spouse shall be the sole owner of property purchased or acquired in his or her name, and contains language purporting to waive and release all rights and claims that a spouse may be entitled to as a result of the marriage, do such provisions serve to waive a spouse’s right to any share of assets titled in the other spouse’s name, even if those assets were acquired during the marriage due to the parties’ marital efforts or appreciated in value during the marriage due to the parties’ marital efforts?”
More simply, can you have a prenuptial agreement between spouses that broadly states, “What you accumulate during our marriage is yours, and what I accumulate during our marriage is mine?”
The answer may surprise you.
The Hahamovitch’s were married in 1986 shortly after entering into a prenuptial agreement. At that time, the husband was 46 years old, and the wife was 28. They were married for 22 years, and in 2008, they filed for dissolution.
In the agreement, Dianne released claim to any accumulated assets should a dissolution be filed by either party.
The agreement spelled out specific terms, including that, basically, whatever Harry bought in his name would remain his in any dissolution, and the property in both their names would be split 50/50.
Would existing marital asset laws, however, provide Dianne more access to Harry’s individual assets?
The Fourth District upheld the trial court’s conclusion that the prenuptial agreement was valid. The court stated that the parties entered the agreement voluntarily and with professional and legal counsel. All in all, the prenuptial agreement was determined to be “fair, reasonable, and one that the wife and husband intended to be bound by.”
This is why it is so critical your prenuptial agreement not only serves in your best interests, but will be legal and enforceable if and when necessary. Choosing legal representation that is experienced in the preparation of prenuptial documents in Florida is vital when getting married in the state. We encourage you to contact us for a no-obligation, no-cost initial consultation.
Prenuptial agreements are no longer for the wealthy or famous. They are practical, common-sense legal agreements that make sense. Contact us to learn more.
If you have questions about a prenup agreement or a postnup agreement 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].
We now offer virtual prenuptial agreements. Contact us to inquire further about our virtual prenup option.