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Forbidden or allowed: the intricacies of a prenuptial agreement

As the years have passed, more and more couples are looking to the prenuptial agreement to not only protect themselves in case of a divorce, but to also establish some crucial ground rules for their marriage. Prenups used to be something of a faux pas: a contract that couples that were about to get married feared, as opposed to embraced.

Times have changed though, and people are starting to see the wonderful benefits that can be granted by a prenuptial agreement. But what can you actually include the document? You're not allowed to just include any clause that you want, right?

To the latter question, yes, you are right. You can't put any clause or any information that you want in the prenuptial agreement. There are rules that forbid certain provisions, such as:

  • A spouse giving up his or her right to alimony
  • Anything relating to child custody or child support
  • Anything illegal
  • Anything that encourages divorce

Still, there are many things that you can discuss within the confines of your prenuptial agreement, including:

  • An outline of which debts belong to which spouse
  • Protection for a family business or family property
  • Language that clarifies which property or assets belong to which spouse
  • Provisions that define property division and certain responsibilities during the marriage

It is important for your prenuptial agreement to be compliant with the rules, otherwise you risk agreeing to an invalid or illegal contract. Thus, it would be open to a legal challenge should a divorce arise in your future.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed Oct. 16, 2015

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