A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract drawn up before marriage that is meant to protect both you and your future spouse in the event of a future divorce. The prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is designed to ensure that the assets that both spouses bring into the marriage will be protected should the marriage end. Both parties may define what will take place in regard to certain assets, as well as determine the terms of a divorce should there be one. Examples of this include the number of spousal support payments or the distribution of assets.
What Type of Things Can Not Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?
- Nonfinancial rules: Your prenuptial agreement cannot include issues that relate to nonfinancial matters. For example, rules regarding who will perform particular household chores or how to raise children cannot be included. It is highly unlikely that provisions such as these would be upheld in court if they were to be challenged in a divorce case.
- Anything deemed to be Illegal: As a matter of law, your prenuptial agreement cannot obligate your spouse to perform illegal actions. All the terms outlined in your agreement must comply with all local, state, and federal laws.
- Terms involving child support or child custody: Potential child support payments and custody cannot be predefined in a prenuptial agreement as they are not considered to be property owned by you or your future spouse. In the event that a marriage is terminated, the court is obligated to decide what is in the best interest of the child.
- Unfair or unreasonable terms: This area of a prenuptial agreement is more suggestive than the other areas that are excluded due to the fact what constitutes unfair or unreasonable is based on the individual circumstances that would surround the case. A judge would most likely be inclined not to honor any provision that produced a hardship on one of the parties involved, especially in the area of financial well-being.
What Can Cause a Prenuptial Agreement to be Considered Invalid?
There are several legal issues that could invalidate a prenuptial agreement which can include the following:
- The agreement was fraudulent
- Lack of proper legal representation
- Paperwork was prepaid illegally
- The agreement was signed under duress
- Reduced mental capacity
What Should a Spouse Ask for In a Prenuptial Agreement?
When making a decision about what should be included in a prenuptial agreement, a spouse should be sure that the agreement addresses the couple’s potential financial strategies in relation to future investments and retirement plans. It should also determine if there will be any specific spending allowances or income that will be paid into joint or separate bank accounts.
If you need assistance in either drafting a prenuptial agreement or examining the legalities of an existing agreement, contact us at (908) 879-9499 and schedule a one-hour strategy session with one of our experienced attorneys.