Florida Premarital Agreements
Frequently Asked Questions
Legal matters are complex. Premarital agreements are very fact-specific. If you have questions or concerns about your specific circumstances, it is strongly recommended that you speak with a qualified Florida family law attorney.
The information on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
What are premarital agreements?
Premarital agreements are agreements between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage to be effective upon marriage.
Is there a difference between a “premarital agreement,” a “prenuptial agreement,” and an “antenuptial agreement”?
No. Each of those titles or terms can be used interchangeably. For the sake of consistency, this Article will refer to these documents as “premarital agreements.”
Is there a difference between a “premarital agreement” and a “postnuptial agreement”?
Premarital agreements are executed prior to a marriage and become effective upon the marriage.
Postnuptial agreements are executed after the parties have already married each other and typically become effective upon execution, though parties can make their postnuptial agreement effective at a later date if they so choose.
Is there a difference between a “premarital agreement” and a “cohabitation agreement”?
A premarital agreement is executed between persons expecting to marry with the agreement becoming effective once the marriage takes place.
A cohabitation agreement is an agreement reached between persons who have chosen to live together, whether they are of opposite genders or the same gender, and do not intend to marry or are not making their agreement effective upon their marriage. Parties typically will enter into a cohabitation agreement in the hopes of minimizing the need for or cost of litigation should they cease to cohabit. Cohabitation agreements typically become effective upon execution, though the parties can make their agreement effective at a later date if they so choose.
Do I have to execute a premarital agreement before I can get married in Florida?
No. Florida does not require that anyone execute a premarital agreement prior to getting married. Whether or not to execute a premarital agreement is entirely up to each individual getting married.
Should I execute a premarital agreement before I get married?
It is entirely up to the individuals getting married whether or not they should execute a premarital agreement prior to their marriage. Marriage not only joins hearts, but also joins homes, families, and social and financial structures. Marriage is a legally binding relationship.
Parties may choose to execute a premarital agreement in an attempt to dictate what will happen if a specific event occurs (such as divorce or death) instead of having the state’s laws control. If parties do not execute a premarital agreement (or any agreement after marriage), the law will dictate what will happen in certain situations. For example, if the parties do not execute a premarital agreement (or any agreement after marriage) and they divorce, the laws governing divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) will control and, if the parties do not execute a premarital agreement (or any agreement after marriage) and one of them dies, the laws governing death (also known as probate laws) will control.
Are there specific requirements for a premarital agreement?
Florida law requires that a premarital agreement be in writing and signed by both parties. In addition, there must be financial disclosure and voluntariness on both parties’ parts in the execution of the agreement.
When do premarital agreements become effective?
Premarital agreements become effective upon the marriage of the parties.
What types of topics can premarital agreements include?
Parties to a premarital agreement may include in the premarital agreement:
The rights and obligations each party will have in any property either or both of them may have or acquire
The right to manage and control property
How property is to be divided between the parties upon their separation, divorce, death of either party, or upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other specific event
The making of a will, trust, or other legal arrangement to carry out the provisions of the premarital agreement
Each party’s ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from the other party’s life insurance policy or policies
A decision on which state’s laws will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the agreement
Any other matter, including the parties’ personal rights and obligations, which does not violate Florida’s public policy or a law imposing a criminal penalty
Are there any topics that premarital agreements cannot include?
Under Florida law, the right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.
Is there a form that can be used for a premarital agreement?
No. Premarital agreements are contracts drafted to address the parties’ concerns, hopes, and desires, based on the state of their affairs at the time the agreement is to be signed. No two sets of parties are alike and no two sets of facts are alike, so each premarital agreement must be drafted to address the needs and desires of the parties based on their unique circumstances.
After a premarital agreement has been executed and the parties have married, can the premarital agreement be changed, revoked, or abandoned?
Florida law provides that, after marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended, revoked, or abandoned only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement, revocation, or abandonment is enforceable without consideration. Consideration is something of value given by both parties to an agreement that induces them to enter into the agreement.
After a premarital agreement has been executed and the parties have married, can a court find that the premarital agreement is not enforceable?
There are situations in which a court may find that a premarital agreement is unenforceable. These are very fact-specific situations. If you have a question about your specific situation, you should speak with a qualified Florida family law attorney.
Where can I read more about Florida premarital agreements?
Florida premarital agreements are governed by Section 61.079, Florida Statutes. Click here to read the statute.
Where should I go if I have more questions?
You should speak with a qualified Florida family law attorney if you have any questions about Florida premarital agreements and/or your specific situation.