Stregack v. Moldofsky
474 So.2d 206 (1985)

  • Manuel and Sally were married. They had an ante-nuptial agreement (aka a prenup) where Sally signed that she waived all rights to Manuel's estate.
  • Manuel died leaving $250k in assets. His will left nothing to Sally. Even though she'd signed an ante-nuptial agreement she went to court and asked for an elective share of the estate.
    • An elective share is a percentage of the estate that a wife can take even if she is cut out of the will entirely.
  • Manuel's daughter Susan contested the elective share, on the basis of the ante-nuptial agreement.
  • The Probate Court denied Sally an elective share. She appealed.
    • Sally argued that the ante-nuptial agreement was invalid because Manuel had not made a full disclosure of assets when they signed it.
      • Therefore, Sally had no idea what rights she was signing away.
  • The Trial Court affirmed and dismissed the case. Sally appealed.
    • The Trial Court looked to Florida law (732.702), and found that there is no requirement for disclosure in an ante-nuptial agreement.
      • Florida had a policy of wanting as many ante-nuptial agreements as possible to be valid because they wanted to encourage retirees to move to the State with their new wives, confident that their children for their first marriage wouldn't get disinherited.
      • Therefore, the rule in Florida is that full disclosure must happen before separation, not before marriage.
  • The Appellate Court reversed. Susan appealed.
    • The Appellate Court found that a surviving spouse could challenge an ante-nuptial agreement for fraudulent nondisclosure by the deceased spouse.
  • The Florida Supreme Court reversed and dismissed the case.
    • The Florida Supreme Court found that nondisclosure cannot invalidate an ante-nuptial agreement in the probate proceedings of a deceased spouse.
      • Manuel and Sally never got a divorce, therefore they never met the requirement of full disclosure.
    • The Court looked to 732.702 and found that no disclosure of each spouse's estate shall be required for an agreement, contract, or waiver executed before marriage.
      • Basically, in Florida, disclosure is required in order for an ante-nuptial agreement to be valid when the spouses get a divorce, but that requirement is absent if one of the spouses dies.
  • Florida is the only State that doesn't require full and fair disclosure prior to marriage.