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Prenups: what can and can't be included in this contract

Prenuptial agreements have become a much more popular pillar of marriages (and divorces), and as such it is important for people who are soon going to be walking down the aisle to understand these contracts and what they can do.

Knowing what you can, and can't, include in a prenuptial agreement is obviously critical. So today let's talk about these factors. What provisions can you include in the prenuptial agreement? Consider this:

  • The most crucial characteristic of the prenup is its ability to define the property division rules in case of a divorce. You can define what is separate property (i.e. what belongs to just you and just your spouse) and what is marital property (i.e. what is shared by the couple). You can also protect yourself from your spouse's debts, and vice versa.
  • You can protect your estate plan, as well as family property and assets (such as a business). You can also make provisions that address children from a prior relationship, and how they will be provided for.
  • You can outline the responsibilities that each spouse will have in the marriage.

For all the things a prenup can do, though, there are topics that are off limits, such as:

  • Child custody and child support can't be discussed in any form. Additionally, you can't waive your right to alimony.
  • Anything that is illegal can't be included in the prenuptial agreement
  • You can't include provisions that would encourage divorce

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed Dec. 29, 2017

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