What Can & Can’t Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a must-have for couples who are preparing to get married, especially if significant assets are brought into the marriage. Although it is mistakenly believed that a prenuptial agreement is “unromantic” or sets the stage for divorce, it is actually a very valuable agreement that can protect both spouses. Here’s what can — and can’t — be put in a prenuptial agreement.
What to Include
Since a prenuptial agreement is primarily a financial document, most of what is included in the agreement is related to finances. Items to put in the agreement include:
- The property, including debts, that each spouse is bringing into the marriage
- Property or businesses that belong to a spouse and their family, such as a business co-owned by a father and his son
- How property and debts will be divided in the event that a divorce should ensue
- The responsibilities and obligations of each spouse during the marriage
- Whether alimony will be automatically paid in the event of the divorce, including to whom alimony will be paid, how much will be paid, and for how long
Generally speaking, a prenuptial agreement is designed to allow for the full disclosure of the finances of each spouse and to protect assets that belong only to one spouse in the event of a divorce.
What Can’t Be Included
Although many things can be put in a prenuptial agreement, there are certain things that can’t, including:
- Child custody and visitation arrangements in the event that the couple already does or proceeds to have children together
- Child support arrangements
- Any provision that would encourage the couple to divorce at any point during the marriage
- Any provision that elicits illegal activity
Although it is the decision of you and your spouse whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for your marriage, what can and cannot be legally included is not something you and your spouse can choose.
When to Contact a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
If you and your partner are considering marriage, it is important to at least discuss the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement. An experienced prenuptial agreement attorney can go over the specifics with you, including what can and can’t be put in such a contract, and can help you draw up an agreement that is designed to set a foundation of success for your marriage. Call the Law Office of Barbara E. McNamara today for a consultation to discuss your legal needs at (714) 740-2542.
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