A prenuptial agreement can be very useful, but do not make the mistake of thinking it's an open-ended document that can do anything at all. The general focus should simply be on the financial side of a potential divorce. It saves you the trouble of sorting everything out during divorce, and it protects your assets.
Below are four things you cannot include:
- Illegal provisions: Anything that breaks the law is off the table. It is important to remember that an illegal provision can, in some cases, put the whole prenup in jeopardy.
- Child custody: You cannot give up your rights or force your spouse to give up his or hers. You cannot even decide how much time you'll both get in a split. The court has to decide that in the best interests of the child.
- Child support: Similarly, the court must determine child support. You cannot use a prenup to state that you won't pay alimony or waive your right to receive it. Support is for the child, not you, and the court makes the decision with the child's best interests in mind.
- Personal rules: Prenups are legal documents designed to address the financial aspects of your relationship. You cannot use them to demand that your spouse does specific chores, dresses a certain way, agrees to go to your parents' house for the holidays, or anything else similarly minor. These are discussions for couples to have on their own, not in a prenup.
Are you interested in drafting a prenup? It so, make sure you understand all of the legal steps you need to take.