Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are skyrocketing in popularity. The reason why is simple. They are an effective means of protecting individual assets and defining outcomes in case of divorce.
While these legal documents can be helpful, it is wise to recognize their limitations. Anyone subject to such an agreement would do well to learn about what they cannot do.
Child custody and support
Prenuptial agreements are unable to dictate terms relating to custody or child support. When a couple with dependents divorces, the court determines what is in the juvenile’s best interests. Thus, language attempting to define these matters may be invalid.
If a prenuptial agreement is unfair or “unconscionable,” it might not be upheld in court. An example is a contract that favors one partner to an extreme. By way of avoiding this possibility, both the groom and bride should scrutinize every word before signing. An agreement that heavily benefits one party and leaves the other severely disadvantaged could face legal objections.
Circumstances at the time of marriage determine the contents of every prenuptial agreement. What might be sensible before a wedding could change over time. Life is unpredictable, and fortunes come and go in the blink of an eye. The initial version of a prenup may not address what happens in the event of a significant financial shift. This is a considerable concern, as 64% of married couples say their finances are wholly intertwined.
Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool for couples getting married, yet they do not account for everything. Spouses-to-be should schedule a meeting to discuss matters beyond their scope.