Does a Prenuptial Agreement Hold Up In Tampa If Your Spouse Had An Affair?

There are any number of reasons a couple may enter into a prenuptial agreement–or prenup, as it’s commonly called–in Tampa. While a prenuptial agreement is common for couples that have significant assets, it’s not just for the wealthy. Rather, a prenup can cover other aspects of the relationship, and can even set terms and conditions for what happens when infidelity is involved.

Divorce is a challenging situation to navigate, regardless of the circumstances. While there can be numerous factors leading to the breakdown of a marriage, one of the more prevalent causes is infidelity. Not surprisingly, adultery can significantly impact various aspects of a divorce case, especially if a prenup is involved.

Work With Experienced Tampa Divorce Lawyers

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our team of experienced Tampa divorce lawyers takes pride in guiding clients through divorce preparations and aiding them in making well-informed choices. We’re serious about delivering exceptional legal services and knowledgeable support to people dealing with divorce matters, including situations where a spouse has had an affair. If you’re thinking about a divorce or currently going through one, contact us to set up a confidential consultation and let our experience work for you.

Florida Divorce Law and Prenuptial Agreements

In Florida, the laws on divorce operate under a “no-fault” principle. This means that when a couple wants a divorce, there’s no need for either side to blame the other spouse for anything. What’s important is to demonstrate to the court that the marriage can’t be fixed.

This approach makes the reasons for getting a divorce irrelevant in the court’s decisions. So, legally speaking, adultery won’t factor into a divorce decision that’s made by a judge. However, a prenuptial agreement is a different story.

In Tampa, like in many other places, prenuptial agreements are governed by their own law in Florida, known as the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. Under the Act, any prenup is allowed to cover the following:

  • What each person has to do with money and debts.
  • The right to buy, sell, use, move, or control the property.
  • How assets and property get split if the marriage ends, someone passes away, or other situations happen.
  • Getting financial support from your spouse if you need it.
  • Making a will or trust.
  • Deciding who gets life insurance money.

Obviously, every prenup is different and will be based on the individual couple’s circumstances. That said, many prenups have certain terms and conditions for what happens when infidelity is involved.

Does a Prenuptial Agreement Hold Up in Tampa If My Spouse Had an Affair?

Just because a judge can’t legally punish your spouse for having an affair in Florida doesn’t mean that there’s no recourse, especially if your prenup has an infidelity clause. Still, every prenup is different and has different terms and conditions that make it either enforceable or unenforceable by a judge. Thus, the terms of your prenuptial agreement are crucial. If your agreement includes clauses related to infidelity, it may outline how it might impact certain things, like:

  • Financial consequences – An infidelity clause could specify financial penalties, adjustments to property division, or changes to alimony or spousal support arrangements if infidelity occurs. This might include forfeiture of certain assets or an increase or decrease in support payments. 
  • Property division – Florida follows an “equitable distribution” system for property division. This means that when dividing property and assets, courts try to make a decision that’s fair, but not necessarily equal. Infidelity might affect how marital property is divided in case of a divorce. For example, it could dictate that the unfaithful spouse receives a smaller share of marital assets.
  • Alimony or spousal support – The clause could influence alimony payments. It might determine that an unfaithful spouse is entitled to a reduced amount or no alimony at all.
  • Legal fees – The clause could address the payment of legal fees in case of infidelity-related disputes, possibly placing the burden on the unfaithful spouse.
  • Child custody – Infidelity clauses are less likely to influence child custody decisions, as courts prioritize the best interests of the child in custody matters.
  • Emotional Impact – While not a legal consideration, an infidelity clause might have emotional implications, potentially affecting the emotional well-being of both spouses.
  • Deterring infidelity – An infidelity clause could serve as a deterrent against infidelity, as spouses might be less likely to engage in such behavior due to the potential financial consequences.

Again, some infidelity clauses might not always be enforceable based on Florida’s laws. Courts check if they’re too harsh or against public policy. So, to grasp what having an infidelity clause in a prenup really means, our team of experienced Tampa divorce lawyers can help.

What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable or Unenforceable in Tampa?

Obviously, since a prenuptial agreement is effectively a written contract, it relies on certain terms and conditions being followed to be enforceable. However, when it comes time to review it in the event of a divorce, a judge may look at the prenup to see just how enforceable–or unenforceable–it is. When this happens, a judge may take the following into account:

  • Voluntary and Informed Consent – Both parties should enter into the prenuptial agreement willingly, without any pressure, duress, or manipulation. They should also fully understand the terms and implications of the agreement.
  • Full and Fair Disclosure – Both parties should provide accurate and complete information about their financial assets, debts, and income. A lack of transparency can raise questions about the validity of the agreement.
  • No fraud or misrepresentation – If one party deceived the other by providing false information or hiding crucial facts, the agreement might be deemed unenforceable.
  • Unconscionability – An agreement might be challenged if it’s extremely one-sided or unfairly benefits one party over the other. It’s important that the terms are reasonable and not overly favorable to either spouse.
  • No violation of public policy – Clauses that go against public policy, such as those related to child custody or encouraging illegal activities, are unlikely to be enforceable.
  • Timing and execution – The agreement should be signed well before the wedding, giving both parties enough time to review and consider the terms. Proper execution procedures, such as signing in front of witnesses, should also be followed.
  • Changes in circumstances – If circumstances change substantially after the agreement is signed, it might affect its enforceability.

As with any contract, periodic reviews and updates of the agreement, especially if there is infidelity or if other circumstances change, can help ensure its continued fairness and relevance. While not legally required, you can always consult with our team of Tampa divorce lawyers to help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Protect Yourself In Your Tampa Divorce With Robert Sparks Attorneys

No matter what led up to your divorce, it’s extremely important that you’re able to legally protect your rights and interests. If you have a prenuptial agreement, this can sometimes make your situation more challenging.

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we’re serious about helping our Tampa clients through the challenges and complexities of a divorce. We can review your prenuptial agreement and make sure that your rights are fought for. Don’t wait–contact us today to set up a confidential consultation to get started.