People enter into prenuptial agreements for a number of reasons. Whether it’s to protect or preserve your assets, insulate one from the premarital debt of the other party, or simply to plan for contingencies, it’s always best to heed the advice of your family law attorney before signing a prenup.
A recent case decided by the New York Supreme Court best illustrates the importance of following the attorney’s advice before signing a prenup. There, the wife sought the cancellation of a premarital agreement that she earlier signed against the advice of her lawyer.
It appears that the parties were in the middle of negotiations of a prenup when the wife discovered she was pregnant. The birth of the first child stalled the prenup discussion which resumed when the wife got pregnant a second time.
All throughout the prenup discussions, the wife was assisted by her own counsel who advised against signing the agreement because of what the wife would stand to potentially lose in the event of a divorce. The agreement expressly stated that each party acknowledged that the terms of the prenup were fair and not unconscionable and that they were advised by their respective counsels on their rights under the agreement.
The wife, however, pointed out that while she was advised not to sign the agreement, she only did so because she believed that there would be no wedding if she did not sign the prenup. This decision ultimately led to what seemed to be a disparity in the financial situation of the husband and wife upon divorce.
Court Finds Prenup Fair
The court ruled that the prenup was valid considering that the wife voluntarily entered into the agreement albeit against her lawyer’s advice. The court also stated that it viewed the agreement in its entirety and found that its terms were not manifestly unfair. Although a significant financial disparity existed resulting from the prenup, the inequality was not a ground for invalidating the agreement that the parties freely negotiated with the assistance of counsel.
Florida family law allows marrying couples to include almost any provision in their prenuptial agreement provided they are not contrary to law or public policy. Attorneys for either party can ensure that the terms are not only legally feasible but also protect the interests of their clients.
In Florida, the Anton Legal Group has years of solid experience in prenuptial agreements, having prepared hundreds of contracts for clients. We invite you to call us today at (813) 443-5249 to learn more about how we can help you.