Family Law

Prenuptial Agreements: What Is Not Allowed?

Marriage is a wonderful institution that brings two people together. For whatever reason, many couples will go into a marriage with a prenuptial agreement. Most prenuptial agreements are valid and will hold up in court. However, there are occasionally issues. In this article, we will discuss issues conditions that might invalidate prenuptial agreements if a couple decides to include them.

What are Prenuptial Agreements?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that a couple enters into before becoming legally married. Prenuptial agreements are valid and will guide the court in determining how to handle marriage assets in the case of divorce or the death of one of the spouses. Prenuptial agreements, if valid, supersede the marital statutory laws of a jurisdiction that would automatically apply in divorces or probate.

Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Florida?

Florida follows the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA), which passed in 2007. As long as the prenuptial agreement follows the guidelines outlined in the UPAA, then the State of Florida and courts will enforce it.

What Cannot be in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Many things can make a prenuptial agreement invalid. The most common issues found in a prenuptial agreement that would cause them to be invalid are as follows:

  • Child Custody. If a prenuptial agreement outlines child custody, visitation, and/or child support, it is invalid. The court will apply the “best interest in the child” standard in making its decision.
  • Child support.  Child support cannot be determined in a pre-nuptial agreement.  Child support if necessary, must be determined at the time it will go into effect based upon the current financial situations of the parties.
  • Illegal Activity. If the prenuptial agreement outlines unlawful activity that both spouses are involved in, the prenuptial agreement is invalid. For example, if the couple counterfeits United States currency, and the prenuptial agreement outlined who would keep all the machinery that allows them to counterfeit currency, then the prenuptial agreement would be invalid.
  • Personal Issues. If the prenuptial agreement requires the spouses to act or behave in a certain way, the court will deem that invalid. For example, suppose the prenuptial agreement between a couple requires one of the spouses to maintain a specific body weight. In that case, the court holds the agreement invalid.
  • Anything that would typically lead to divorce. If the prenuptial agreement allows one or both spouses to engage in behavior that a reasonable person would conclude can lead to a divorce, then the prenuptial agreement might be invalid. For example, suppose a prenuptial agreement allowed one spouse to have multiple sexual partners while forcing the other spouse to remain monogamous. In that case, the courts might rule the prenuptial invalid.

This is not an exhaustive list of conditions. Contact your family law attorney to see if a condition of your prenuptial agreement potentially makes it invalid.

Will the Whole Prenuptial Agreement be Invalid or Just Specific Sections?

Whether the courts will invalidate the whole prenuptial agreement or just specific sections of the prenuptial agreement will depend on how it impacts the rest of the agreement and the underlying cause of the dispute in court.

Hire an Attorney

In conclusion, the only sure way to ensure a prenuptial agreement is valid is to hire a competent and experienced attorney. Contact Valrico Law Group for a consultation where our family law specialists will draft a prenuptial agreement that will stand up in a court of law.