Thursday, April 16, 2015

Things You Can't Put in a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement, or "prenup," is an important consideration for many couples contemplating marriage. Also known in some states as a premarital agreement or antenuptial contract, prenups are often believed to be necessary only for those with substantial assets. In reality, many people are choosing to execute prenuptial contracts today. Although these agreements are highly effective and enforceable in most cases, the law prohibits certain provisions.. Should you endeavor to include a non-allowed provision, courts may invalidate your prenup in whole or in part. Read on for some important information on this subject.

Reasons You May Want a Prenup

Even if you don't have a lot of assets, you may want to consider executing a premarital contract before walking down the aisle. For example, some couples choose a prenup to minimize the cost and pain should they later divorce. Many modern couples choose to work out the details of a potential split before getting married, when decisions are more likely to be dictated by logic rather than emotion.. Prenups can also help to establish ground rules for the marriage and set forth clear expectations for both parties. Other reasons for entering into a prenup may include the presence of children, property or debts from the past.

Provisions that May Be Disallowed

The legal system simply won't allow certain provisions in a premarital contract. This varies from state to state, but some concepts are universal. For any matters involving children, you will likely be unable to compel either party to relinquish future parental rights. Family courts consider the best interests of children ahead of that of either parent. Any attempt to restrict either party's custody or support obligations would likely be unenforceable. Some states also disallow attempts to limit alimony rights. Finally, most non-financial terms may fall under scrutiny. For example, attempts to enforce behavior (for example, who is responsible for specific chores, what religion children will be raised in or family pet matters) may not be enforceable. Trying to include provisions of this nature could result in having the entire agreement voided by a judge.

Protecting Your Assets and Rights before Marriage

If you believe a prenuptial agreement is necessary, contact a family law attorney in your state to discuss your goals and objectives. A lawyer who is experienced in the successful preparation and enforcement of prenups can advise you on what may or may not hold up in court, should your marriage fail in the future. If you elect not to execute a premarital contract with your future spouse, state law will govern how assets are distributed during divorce proceedings.

Jen Stott is the Director of Digital Content at Be Locally in South Jordan, Utah. Spiker Card attorneys may be able to help you with prenuptial agreements or other family law matters.
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