Prenuptial agreements are more popular than ever. These documents allow couples to retain control over the terms of their divorce and can also help set them up for greater relationship success by making clear the expectations and responsibilities of each spouse.
However, while prenuptial agreements are useful documents, some of the terms people want to include can make them easier for one spouse to challenge in the future. If you intend to sign a prenuptial agreement before you marry your fiance, you need to take care not to include terms like the ones below which could invalidate the entire agreement.
A clause that says your spouse won’t need to pay child support
One of the biggest concerns in a divorce will be child support, as it can diminish the living standards of even high-earning professionals. Still, child support may be crucial for the comfort of any children in the family.
Spouses often disagree about how much support is appropriate when they divorced, and the desire to address the issue preemptively is common. Although you may be able to agree to specific standards for child support beyond what the state would require, you cannot waive support obligations on behalf of the children who should receive it.
Clauses micromanaging your appearances or personal lives
Some people go into marriage with specific expectations for their partner. They want a certain number of home-cooked meals every week or demand that their spouse cannot gain more than a certain amount of weight.
While these rules can help create clear expectations for spouses, they do not contribute to the overall enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. A judge likely won’t want to deal with clauses that focus on your personal relationship. Some judges will ignore or refuse to enforce individual clauses, while others might toss out the whole document over a few questionable lines.
Prenuptial agreements are useful tools for establishing expectations for your marriage, creating penalties for spousal misconduct, avoiding the conflict inherent in most divorces, and protecting personal assets or a business. The better you understand what you can and cannot include in a prenuptial agreement, the more benefits you will derive from signing such a document.