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Prenuptial agreements have restrictions

Creating a prenuptial agreement is an excellent way to protect yourself and the one you love as you plan for your life together. While many people still assume that prenuptial agreements are only used by those with great wealth or as a back door to a marriage, making it easier to exit, prenuptial agreements feature important protections that benefit couples even if they remain married indefinitely. However, these tools have their limitations, and those who do not understand these limitations may invalidate the entire agreement with some faulty terms.

Child support and child custody issues are not appropriate in a prenuptial agreement, even though it seems intuitively as though these issues make perfect sense to include. While it is possible to set aside certain assets for a child in a prenuptial agreement, it is important to not frame this within child support or use it to influence custody matters.

Child support is always determined by a court after assessing the resources and circumstances of the parents. Child support is seen by the court as the right of the child, and not responsibility that a parent can divest him or herself of without forfeiting parental rights altogether. Including potential terms of child support in a prenuptial agreement may invalidate the entire document.

Similarly, child custody is not appropriate for inclusion in a prenuptial agreement. Courts acknowledge that one parent or the other may agree to terms outside of his or her own interests for a variety of reasons, and do not allow this type of arrangement in a prenuptial agreement. This is also prohibited to respect the rights of a child to have a say in his or her custody.

If you need help creating a plan for your future family, an experienced family law attorney can help you examine your circumstances and find the tools that fit your needs. Professional legal counsel ensures that you can focus on your priorities while keeping your rights protected as you venture into this new season of life.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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