What can or can't be in a prenuptial agreement?

If you decide to have a prenuptial agreement drawn up before you get married, you need to understand what can and cannot be included. There are certain things you can't include in a prenuptial agreement, because including those items could hurt you or your to-be spouse in the future. These items may be time sensitive, for instance, so the courts would want to have you make a decision when the time comes, not beforehand.

One thing that you can include in a prenuptial agreement is a list of all the things you and your fiance own separately. You can also include your debts and indicate that in the event of a divorce, those debts remain with the original debtor without becoming a marital debt.

You can provide for your children from previous relationships and keep property in your own possession by dictating that as a wish in your prenuptial agreement as well.

What you can't include are things such as a waiver to alimony or anything that encourages divorce. For instance, if you have a detail that looks like a financial incentive to divorce, the judge is unlikely to approve the prenuptial agreement. Likewise, it's not legal to ask someone to waive a right to alimony. Most judges will strike down this waiver if it comes time to do so, even if your partner signs a prenuptial with the waiver in place. Every state has its own laws regarding this, so that does make a difference if you choose to file for divorce in a different state than where you created a prenuptial agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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