When two individuals put together a prenuptial agreement, the hope is that they will never have to use it. Many years, even decades, may go by without even a mention of the agreement; that is, until one of the spouses wants to divorce. After decades of marriage, the other spouse may feel as though the guidelines agreed upon in the prenup should be tossed out, especially if there has been substantial asset growth during the marriage.
Recently, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on just this type of scenario. The case involved a couple who were married for 22 years. The wife apparently signed a prenuptial agreement where she waived all interest to her husband's assets. When the two filed for divorce, she argued that the agreement didn't specifically mention any enhanced value of the husband's assets "due to marital labor or funds." The prenup also apparently didn't mention that his earnings would be considered separate property.
The court upheld the court of appeals ruling in saying that the phrasing was broad enough in the prenup that it didn't have to list every possible situation that could arise. This is definitely great news for wealthier spouses who are trying to protect their assets in Florida.
The ruling basically means that going forward, prenuptial agreements don't have to be carefully detailed as to what separate property could include. The document just has to have clear language that the spouse is waiving interest to individual assets. This ruling may prompt couples to sit down with an attorney to look over the language of their proposed prenuptial agreement or of an agreement that is already in place.