Having a prenuptial agreement in place can be very beneficial if a couple decides to get divorced. They can sign a prenup when they are still on good terms, right before getting married, and make many decisions in advance. They may not be on good terms when they’re getting divorced, but they’ll be able to benefit from having a document clarifying their rights and responsibilities in place already regardless.
People use this particular legal resource as a means of protection, often for financial assets. However, it is important for those who are considering using a prenup to remember that they can’t include everything that has to be decided during the divorce. In fact, including some provisions can make the prenup invalid.
Child custody issues
Child custody terms cannot be included in prenup language. There is simply too great a risk that such commitments won’t reflect the best interests of a particular child at the time that their parents divorce.
Child support payments
The court needs to consider numerous factors to determine how much child support should be paid after a divorce. There is no way to do this in advance and have it be accurate. Even if someone has put into a prenup that they don’t have to pay child support, the court can overrule it, as children’s right to financial support outweighs a parent’s right to craft contract terms.
Highly unfair terms
In some cases, a prenup can also be too unfair to one spouse, and the court may not feel that it should be upheld as a result. A judge may view unbalanced terms as a means of manipulation. For example, a prenup shouldn’t state that only one person gets all of the couple’s financial assets, rather than dividing them between the two. Even if someone signed a prenup like that, perhaps feeling strongly that they wouldn’t get divorced and thinking that it wouldn’t matter, the court is not going to force them to become destitute due to assumptions made long ago.
Using a prenuptial agreement
These are just a few things to avoid when crafting a prenuptial agreement. They can be very useful documents when set up properly, so couples need to know exactly what legal options they have, what steps to take and how a prenup would potentially impact a divorce case.