Tennessee couples who are planning to get married may consider completing a prenuptial agreement before doing so. However, it is important that they are aware of what can be included in the legal documents. State law governs how separate property and marital property are distinguished from one another. When a marriage ends by divorce, a court will use the principle of equitable distribution when dividing up marital assets. A valid prenuptial agreement could contain a provision that would override that.
Another provision that can be included in a prenuptial agreement is that regarding debts. Individuals who get married without a prenup who decide to go their separate ways can be held liable for the debt incurred by the other spouse. This can be avoided by having a provision that addresses this issue.
Individuals who enter a marriage and who have children from other relationships can also use the prenup to protect assets meant for those children. The agreement can also ensure that a family business, family heirloom, an inheritance or any other type of asset that is intended to remain in one’s family is not distributed to the wrong person.
There are certain things that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Provisions dealing with child custody or child support, for example, will not be upheld by a court, as they are deemed to be against public policy.
It is important to remember that prenuptial agreements are contracts, and are thus subject to the laws that govern them. For example, if one party can demonstrate that he or she was coerced into signing it or was forced to sign it under duress, a court might void it. It is important for each party to have separate counsel during the process.