A prenuptial agreement can help a couple considering entering a marriage in a variety of ways. They can help couples protect a family business or personal assets. They can also help a couple determine how divorce-related issues will be handled in the event of a divorce instead of having state law determine them, such as the division of assets equitably according to property division laws in Florida, rather than how the couple may want property divided. Prenuptial agreements also have important requirements according to state law so it is necessary to know what the requirements are in the state where the prenuptial agreement is signed.
In general, however, there are several requirements for prenuptial agreements to be valid. To begin with, prenuptial agreements must be in writing. In addition, both expectant spouses must sign the prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding for it to be valid. Both parties must enter the agreement voluntarily and not sign the document under pressure. The agreement must also be entered into knowingly and both parties must read and understand the prenuptial agreement and know what they are signing. The parties must both also have time to consider the agreement. It will be invalid if it is provided to a party right before walking down the aisle, for instance.
In addition, the agreement cannot contain invalid provisions which could include provisions concerning anything illegal or concerning future child support obligations. In addition, if the agreement contains false or incomplete information, it will not be valid. Because of this, it is best to always provide accurate and complete information concerning income, assets and liabilities when drafting a prenuptial agreement. Each of the parties should also have their own representation during the process of developing a prenuptial agreement. Finally, though couples have tremendous latitude in developing their own prenuptial agreement, the provisions of the prenuptial agreement cannot be unconscionable, or grossly unfair, to either party.
Prenuptial agreements, oftentimes misunderstood, serve a number of important practical purposes for couples planning to get married. It is helpful for couples to be educated concerning the benefits of a prenuptial agreement and how one can benefit them.
Source: Family FindLaw, “Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid,” Accessed July 4, 2016