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What cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement?

In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the advantages of forming a prenuptial agreement, or prenup. Although it may be an initially uncomfortable discussion for a soon-to-be married couple, the benefits that could be gained in time and money saved in the event of a divorce are hard to ignore. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can be helpful for couples to establish "rules" or procedures regarding finances and other marital tasks during the course of a marriage, assuring that both sides are on the same page when they enter into the marriage.

There are several items and topics that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement, and it is vital to know what cannot be included to avoid issues down the road. For example, any and all decisions regarding child custody or child support cannot be discussed or outlined in a prenup. For those decisions, the courts make their rulings based solely on what is in the best interest of the child or children, and the opinions of the courts may differ from that of parents, who may not be able to make a decision free of bias.

The courts also recognize that unfortunately not all spouses in marriages are "equal," and there may be situations where one spouse has financial power or tries to intimidate or force a spouse into decisions against their wishes. The courts forbid such efforts, which also includes making determinations on waiving the right to alimony or personal matters such as child rearing or the relationship between other family members and relatives.

It is very important to understand exactly what can and cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Although anyone can draft the document without professional help, if your prenuptial agreement includes information that is not allowed, it may void the entire document, which would complete defeat the purpose of the prenup.

Source: findlaw.com, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed June 5, 2017

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