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What is NOT grounds for setting aside or voiding a prenuptial agreement:

What is NOT grounds for setting aside or voiding a prenuptial agreement:[1]

  1. A bad bargain, by itself, is not sufficient grounds to challenge prenuptial.
  2. A bad fiscal bargain that appears unreasonable can still be knowledgeably entered into for the reasons other than insufficient knowledge of assets and income; if an agreement is unreasonable is nonetheless freely entered into, it is still enforceable; and
  3. The lack of the assistance of counsel is no basis to vacate the agreement.

How can I void a Prenuptial Agreement based on Duress?

WARNING…Duress is not something that can be easily proven in a court of law.  The Court looks to the “condition of mind,” at the time of signing the agreement. 

There must be substantial competent evidence if duress.  It is a very a difficult and intrusive process.  The court will consider the parties ages, health, education and financial status at the time you entered into the agreement.[2]  You will need testimony from yourself and others.  Contracts you entered for the preparations of your wedding.  When there contract where entered and whether they could be cancelled.  Whether your guests had already begun to arrive at your venue.  Evidence of the circumstances surrounding the time you or your spouse began discussing your prenuptial agreement, the timing of signing the agreement and the timing of your wedding.  Whether you had sufficient time to seek independent counsel.  The court will consider how far away the wedding date was set and whether all other wedding plans were already in the works. You may possibly need expert testimony or testimony from people who were present and “actually remember” the circumstances. 

The Court will look at Duress “is a condition of mind produced by an improper external pressure or influence that practically destroys the free agency of a party and causes him to do an act or make a contract not of his own volition.”[3]  It is well settled law that proving duress requires two factors: (a) that the act sought to be set aside was effected involuntarily and thus not as an exercise of free choice or will and (b) that this condition of mind was caused by some improper and coercive conduct of the opposite side. Id. In other words duress involves a dual concept of external pressure and internal surrender or loss of volition in response to outside compulsion.  Id.  As such, the party claiming duress must establish that the effects of the alleged coercive behavior affected their subjective intent to act. Id.

[1] Casto v. Casto, 508 So. 2d 330 at 333 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1987).

[2] Casto v. Casto, 508 So. 2d 330 at 333 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1987)

[3] Parra De Rey v. Rey, 114 So. 3d 371 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2013)(Quoting Francavilla v. Francavilla969 So.2d 522, 524–25 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) Also see Williams v. Williams939 So.2d 1154, 1157 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)).

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