5 things you can’t include in a prenup
When a couple decides to marry, one of the things that is typically discussed is whether debts and assets will be combined. For those who are entering their second marriage, have children from a previous relationship, or who have trust funds, large debts, businesses, or various personal investments, entering into a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial.
While prenuptial agreements are useful and can include a wide range of debts and assets, there are a few things that courts do not allow to be included in a prenuptial agreement. Here are five things that you cannot include in a prenup:
1. Child Support, Visitation, and/or Custody
If you and your partner have children together or eventually want to have children together, it may seem wise to discuss how you would co-parent your children if you were to get a divorce. However, many things factor into child custody, child support, and visitation rights. It is next to impossible for a couple to predict what they will want or need in regard to their children when facing a divorce.
Further, courts usually base their custody, visitation, and support decisions on individual family members and their current financial and personal situations. While you may make a certain amount of money or have certain habits right now, your situation may change in the event of a divorce ten years after marriage.
With that being said, you can include provisions that protect children that you have from a previous relationship. For example, if you would like to include that certain assets, properties, or investments go to your child or children, you can do so.
2. Anything Illegal
This should go without saying: you cannot include any illegal terms in your prenuptial agreement. This is to ensure that you are not able to require that your spouse does something illegal and vice versa.
3. Unfair Terms
Terms that are one-sided, unjust, or deceitful are usually deemed to be unfair due to exploitation. For example, if your spouse is entitled to a large inheritance and does not have another source of income, you cannot require that your spouse give you half of his or her inheritance in the event of a divorce. Another example would be phrases like, “If you do XYZ, I can file for divorce.”
4. Physical or Personal Requirements
You cannot include non-financial requirements. Things like ensuring that your spouse does not exceed a certain weight, does not change his or her hair color, only wears certain clothing, or any other requirements that emphasize physical or personal appearance are not allowed.
5. Verbal Agreements
Prenuptial agreements have to be signed, notarized, legal documents for them to be upheld. A verbal agreement is not valid as, in the event of a divorce, your opinions, wants, and needs will likely change.
Prenuptial agreements can be difficult to navigate. Seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney is suggested so that you and your future spouse can ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally binding. Contact The Gucciardo Family Law Firm today to set up a consultation with an attorney that is experienced in navigating and creating prenuptial agreements.
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