A post-nuptial agreement was signed in Florida. Under the terms of the agreement, the wife waived her spousal elective share. The husband died in Iowa. Under Florida law, the waiver is valid; under Iowa law, the waiver is invalid. The question presented to the court was which state’s law applied. Held: Florida law applied under the agreement’s choice of law clause, as waiver was not contrary to “fundamental” policy interest of Iowa. “[O]n a spectrum of public policies, this is not at the upper end. It is not a crime to enter into such an agreement. There are no civil penalties. One cannot be sued for entering into such an agreement. At most, our courts would simply decline to enforce these agreements.”
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website: www.