Establishing the division of assets in the event of a divorce is a common purpose of prenuptial agreements, but engaged couples have many other reasons for setting up these legal arrangements. People with children from previous relationships, for instance, may want to stipulate that their offspring receive a certain amount in an inheritance.
If you plan to draw up a prenuptial agreement with provisions not related to division of assets in a divorce, learn examples of some aspects that may not be allowed by your state laws. Some provisions may not be forbidden by law but are unlikely to be approved by the judge who reviews your agreement.
Child Support Restrictions
No states allow restrictions on possible future child support payments. Child support is determined by state laws, although judges can make certain changes when a parent petitions the court.
Child Custody and Visitation Issues
These matters typically are not allowed to be addressed in a prenuptial agreement.
First, family law courts will not uphold agreements designed to limit one parent's rights to visitation or custody. Second, even if you and your betrothed have created a reasonable shared custody or visitation schedule, a lot of things can change over time. One of you may want to dispute that agreement in the event of a divorce, and the court will want to start fresh with the situation as it stands.
Spousal Support Restrictions
Some states do not allow a person to waive the right to spousal support in a prenup, but others do.
A prenuptial agreement is not intended to set forth legal parameters on domestic issues such as
- who is responsible for certain household tasks
- which holidays are spent with which relatives
- how much vacation time will be spent with each person's parents
- how much time each person is allowed for separate vacations
Issues Qualifying as Unfair
Judges are unlikely to approve prenuptial agreements that include clauses that are unfair or appear to only be included to discourage divorce. For instance, one person cannot specify that they receive 80 percent of all assets accumulated after the marriage if the other person files for divorce.
The agreement cannot contain provisions specifying that if one person takes a certain action, such as being unfaithful, the other person is allowed an uncontested divorce.
States vary on what factors can be stipulated in prenuptial agreements. A family law attorney can tell you whether anything you want to include is acceptable or not. Contact a lawyer like The Law Office Of James R. Kennedy Jr. for further information.