Interviewer: When someone decides to get married, at what point should an attorney come into play?
Pre-Nuptial Agreements Can Be Easy to Set Aside
Wendy Doyle: The pre-nuptial agreements need the services of an attorney. I actually have this complicated case going on right now with a post-nuptial agreement. They’re high profile people. I don’t even handle pre-nuptial agreements because they’re easy to set aside. You can have a pre-nuptial done, but there are a number of loopholes. If you can have an attorney involved, it’s probably good to have a discussion about how it’s easier to fall apart. Most people don’t want to even think about that.
Most people don’t want to think about going into a marriage and then whether or not to even have a pre-nuptial. Personally, I don’t have a lot of faith in them. I’m litigating this case now. I took his deposition and he basically admitted that he entered into the post-nuptial agreement voluntarily. That’s the thing. Its duress or coercion consent to decide, but I understand the law. They’re very easy to set aside.
What Is the Difference between a Pre-Nuptial and a Post-Nuptial Agreement?
Interviewer: What’s the difference between a pre-nuptial and a post-nuptial?
Wendy Doyle: A pre-nuptial agreement is prior to marriage and a post-nuptial agreement is following the marriage. The post-nuptial is a marital settlement agreement after your case has been filed, so you have a settlement of all the issues in your divorce case.
Florida Does Not Recognize Common Law Marriages
Interviewer: In Florida, are there common law marriages?
Wendy Doyle: No, no Florida common law marriages, no. Some people do think common law marriages are recognized but legally, they are not.
Interviewer: Do you take cases where there is a pre-nuptial agreement and where the pre-nuptial is a factor in the divorce?
Wendy Doyle: Yes, I’ll litigate the pre-nuptial absolutely. This occurred in the case I mentioned earlier.
Do Pre-Nuptial and/or Post-Nuptial Agreements Complicate a Divorce Case?
Interviewer: Does that make it easier or more difficult?
Wendy Doyle: Sometimes they clog the wheel, so to speak. Here we have this case where the parties signed a post-nuptial agreement.
If the Agreements Were Voluntarily Agreed to, the Court Will Uphold the Document
OK. As I mentioned, he just admitted this at his deposition. The court doesn’t have a choice. The court’s going to uphold it.
His attorney presented the argument that it was a short term marriage. Therefore, she wouldn’t be entitled to the relief. That’s not the point. He agreed to it. That’s what he agreed to. You can agree to whatever you want to.
Post-Nuptial Agreements That Are Very Comprehensive Cause the Most Litigation
If you had gone to trial, the fact that you would not have gotten that relief if you had gone to trial doesn’t matter. If you signed it and you weren’t under coercion or duress, which is pretty hard to prove, then you’re going to abide by it. That’s the way it is.
In this case, the agreement is overreaching, so now he doesn’t want to stick to it. We’re litigating over it. If it’s not too overreaching, it should be easy to resolve the case. In this case, it’s causing a lot more litigation.
If my client didn’t have the post-nuptial, the case would’ve been settled. we would have settled it. Now, it’s been going on a long time. This is a complicated case where there are addiction issues. They are high profile people.