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6 things you cannot include in your prenup

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Prenuptial Agreements |

Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are useful legal tools that help couples outline their financial rights and responsibilities before marriage. However, there are certain limitations to what you can include in these agreements. Understanding these restrictions can help ensure your prenup is valid and enforceable.

1. Child custody and support

Courts make child custody and support decisions based on the best interests of the child. Prenuptial agreements cannot predetermine these issues. The court will assess the child’s needs, the parents’ circumstances, and other relevant factors to make a fair decision in the event of separation.

2. Waiving the right to alimony

While prenups can address spousal support, they cannot completely waive the right to alimony if it would leave one spouse destitute. Texas courts can award spousal support to ensure neither party faces undue financial hardship post-divorce. The court may invalidate any provision that attempts to eliminate this right entirely.

3. Encouraging divorce

Prenups cannot contain provisions that encourage or incentivize divorce. Any clause suggesting that one spouse benefits financially from a divorce will be closely scrutinized by the court. Such provisions are generally considered against public policy and may render the entire prenup unenforceable.

4. Personal preferences and lifestyle clauses

While some couples may wish to include personal lifestyle clauses, such as agreements about household chores, these are not enforceable in Texas. Prenups should focus on financial and property matters.

5. Illegal activities

Any clause in a prenup that involves illegal activities will be automatically void. This includes anything that violates state or federal law, such as tax evasion, money laundering, or other criminal activities. Including such provisions not only invalidates the prenup but could also lead to legal consequences.

6. Misleading or incomplete information

For a prenup to be valid, both parties must fully disclose their assets, debts, and financial situations. Any attempt to mislead or provide incomplete information can invalidate the prenup. Transparency is crucial to ensure fairness and enforceability.

Ensuring a valid and enforceable prenup

Understanding the limitations of what you can include in a prenup ensures that both parties enter into the agreement with a clear understanding of their rights and obligations. This fosters a strong foundation for their marriage.