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What you can and can't include in a prenup

As we have discussed in the last few months, prenuptial agreements are very important to a couple's marriage and, yes, their divorce. These contracts have a lot going on in them, and though they do carry great importance, they also aren't for everyone. But what, specifically, are you allowed to include in the prenuptial agreement, and what are you forbidden from including?

Let's take a more in-depth look at the prenup today, and why you need to know the elements that can, and can't be included in this crucial document.

  • Distinguishing assets and debts: You and your spouse can outline who is in charge of what debt, as well as distinguish which assets or pieces of property belong to both of you, or each individual spouse.
  • Protect yourself and your family: You can include language that protects your family and family property, as well as include language that provides for children from a previous relationship.
  • Define marital responsibilities: You and your spouse can agree on certain responsibilities and actions that are taken during the course of your marriage in your prenuptial agreement.
  • Child custody and support are forbidden: A prenuptial agreement may not contain any language pertaining to child custody or child support.
  • Illegal elements can't be included: This should go without saying, but your prenup can't contain provisions or language that are illegal.
  • You can't waive your right to alimony: State laws vary in this regard, but in general, it is frowned upon (or downright illegal) to waive your right to alimony in your prenuptial agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed Aug. 7, 2015

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