What prenuptial agreements can and cannot legally address

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2023 | Divorce |

Prenuptial agreements are a powerful tool, the benefits of which range from establishing each spouse’s rights and responsibilities to preventing property losses in case of a divorce or death. However, prenups are bound by law and have to comply with specific rules to be valid and enforceable. This includes the terms that the premarital document can legally cover.

Typical issues to address

Couples can include provisions that specifically apply to them, considering their available properties and other factors. Examples of common terms written in prenups are the following:

  • Establishing the nature of current and future assets, whether marital or separate
  • Forming rules regarding the operation of family businesses and management of financial obligations
  • Discussing responsibility for debts acquired during the marriage
  • Setting property division terms, including the right to buy the interests of the other

Generally, prenups include provisions that would protect the rights and assets of each spouse just in case a divorce or the death of a spouse happens.

Exclude anything involving children

Premarital agreements cannot legally address matters on child custody, child support or parenting time. While parents may think they know what is best for their children, their personal wishes can negatively affect their decisions if they decide to address these matters themselves.

Instead, the courts will determine, based on the available circumstances, custody, visitation and support orders that would be in the child’s best interests.

Review your draft before anything else

A well-written prenuptial agreement is one that complies with the law. Before finalizing your premarital document, it is best to have it assessed for compliance and whether the agreement provides you with the protection you need.



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