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The can's and can not's of prenuptial agreements: part 2

Last week we touched on some of the many benefits and reasons to consider creating a prenuptial agreement, often called a prenup, prior to a marriage. The benefits are vast. Although a prenup can be created and become valid without the advice or help of a legal professional, there are certain things that a prenuptial agreement cannot contain. Failing to abide by the law may render certain parts of the prenup invalid, or could void the entire document.

Two large factors that go into a divorce are child custody and child support. Because a family's situation is ever-changing and the courts put an emphasis on preserving the best interests of the child, one cannot include any provisions regarding child custody or child support. These are for the courts to determine if you are involved in a divorce. The prenup in many states cannot contain the right for a spouse to waive alimony. Even if allowed, it could influence how a judge treats the rest of the document.

The prenup cannot contain rules regarding personal matters. We explained last week that financial decisions can be included, but personal matters cannot be determined or adhered to through a prenup. Lastly, this may be obvious, but a prenup cannot contain any illegal provisions.

As we stated above, although you can create a prenup yourself, you do run the risk of including items that are not allowed in the prenup, which could make the entire document invalid. To protect yourself from this, it might be in your best interest to have a law firm familiar with family law go over and craft the document with you. The few dollars you spend today could wind up saving you big time in the long run. It may not be a risk you want to take.

Source: findlaw.com, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed June 12, 2017

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