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What can and cannot be included in a prenup?

Getting married means making many decisions, such as where to have the ceremony, how many guests to invite, the type of cake and what dress to wear. It also means exploring the idea of a prenuptial agreement. There is a growing trend to include this legal document in a marriage, so it is important for couples to understand this document, the benefits it can offer, what it can include and what could invalidate the agreement in an event of a divorce.

What can and cannot be included in a prenup? While a prenup is a very useful document to include in a marriage, it cannot address all marital and divorce issues. In fact, containing certain terms could invalidate the agreement. To begin, a prenup can include terms that address property. The document can distinguish what is considered separate and marital property. It can also provide protection from the debts of the other spouse. A prenup is able to provide for children from a previous relationship, keep family property in the family, protect an estate plan, define property distribution and can even detail the responsibilities one has during marriage.

On the flip side, there are certain terms that cannot be included in a prenup. First of all, it cannot contain provisions that detail anything illegal. A prenup also cannot include provisions or decisions regarding child support and child custody. A spouse cannot waive the right to alimony in a prenup, and they cannot encourage divorce or make rules regarding personal matters instead of financial matters.

A prenuptial agreement can serve many purposes and so long as it does not contain invalid provisions or terms, it will likely be upheld. Whether it is to protect a business, retirement accounts, certain assets, protect against debts or just simply to make a potential divorce easier, there are many benefits to including a prenup in a marriage.

No one gets married with the idea that the union will someday end in divorce. However, because no marriage is perfect and divorce is always a possibility, it is important for spouses to be realistic and practical. Including a properly drafted, valid prenuptial agreement could find many benefits, helping spouses through the difficulties of dissolution.

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