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Mark Abzug

Understanding premarital agreements in a high asset divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | High Asset Divorce

Floridians who have accrued significant assets and are planning to get married will frequently consider a premarital agreement just in case the marriage does not work out. Simply having the agreement is, to many, a protective shield so they have control over how the property is split in a high asset divorce. Still, if the couple does decide to part ways, even a premarital agreement can be called into question. No matter whether it is from the perspective of the person who had the bulk of the assets or the one who did not, it is important to know what can be in the agreement and when it might be unenforceable under the law.

Stipulations in a premarital agreement and when it is unenforceable

The premarital agreement can address a variety of issues such as what property will belong to the parties; how that property will be handled if they separate, divorce or if other events occur; how spousal support is handled; ownership of life insurance policies; which law will govern how the agreement is constructed; estate planning considerations; and anything else the parties want to put in it. The agreement can be changed at any time after the couple has been married. It can even be revoked or abandoned.

Enforcement is where people tend to disagree, especially if it is a marriage in which a large amount was accrued during the union. In some instances, the person who was asked to sign the agreement and entered the situation with fewer assets might have done so against his or her will. This can make it unenforceable. The same is true if it was achieved through fraud, coercion or duress. The court will look at the agreement and what it says to determine if it is fair. If it is found to be unfair (unconscionable), then it can be nullified. That can include not receiving a full disclosure of property and financial obligations; not waiving that right; and not having sufficient knowledge of the property prior to signing. The court can still order spousal support even if premarital agreement eliminates it.

Having experienced help can address premarital agreements in a divorce

Premarital agreements in a high asset divorce can be complicated. It is wise to have assistance based on every viewpoint in a dispute. People could have been naïve, made a mistake in signing the agreement, omitted key elements or had dramatic life changes during the marriage that could call the premarital agreement into question. As the case proceeds, it is imperative to have assistance from the start to examine the document and determine the best path forward for a desirable result.