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What can and cannot be included in a prenup?

Marriage can be complex. Nowadays, when two people decide to get married, it is a huge operation. However, the union itself is simple. Two individuals are bound legally. This can sound rather worrisome, as many couples enter the union with valuable assets of their own. However, there are ways to address this, such as including a prenuptial agreement in the marriage.

A prenuptial agreement or a prenup is a legal document that essentially outlines what will happen if a divorce occurs. While this document can dictate very specific details, it cannot address all areas of concern. There are some restrictions for a prenup, and if they are not followed, they could invalidate the document.

What can and cannot be included in a prenup? Let's begin with a general overview of what can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. A prenup can distinguish between marital and separate property, provide protections against the debt of the other spouse, provide for a child from a previous relationship, protect family property so it remains in the family, protect estate plans, provide directions for property division during dissolution and even describe the responsibilities of each spouse.

There are some issues that a prenup cannot address. This includes provisions that detail anything illegal, decisions regarding child support or custody, waiving the right to alimony, provisions that encourage divorce and provisions that detail personal instead of financial matters.

Drafting, enforcing or invalidating a prenuptial agreement can each be a daunting task. Thus, it is important that individuals or spouses understand what rights they have and what options are available to protect these rights. This not only helps establish a valid prenup but also ensures that it operates properly in the event of a divorce.

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