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What are the requirements of a valid prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts and, as such, they must follow certain rules in order to be valid. This post will touch on some of the important requirements that Florida residents must follow in order to keep their prenups valid, but, as with all legal matters, it is imperative that readers seek their own legal guidance on matters specific to their family law needs.

Although other types of agreements may not require this component, prenuptial agreements must be written contracts. They cannot be oral agreements and when a prenup is put to paper the parties to it must both sign their names to it to demonstrate their consent and agreement to the terms. Both of the parties to the prenup must also have the time and opportunity to read it over before signing.

A person cannot be forced into signing a prenup, so if coercion or duress exists at the time the prenuptial agreement is executed it may later be thrown out as invalid. Additionally, if a party includes inaccurate information in the document, conceals assets, or drafts the document to be so unfair to the other party that it is considered unconscionable, then the prenup may not be valid.

Prenuptial agreements are intended to help parties work out their plans for their assets and finances during and after the marriage. While most people focus on the divorce side of prenups, they can also be useful marital tools for individuals who wish to preserve some or all of their separate wealth before getting married. Discussing concerns and plans for marriage with a family law attorney may be a good way for couples to decide if a prenuptial agreement would fit their needs.

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