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The issues that can, and can't, be addressed in a prenup

Many people consider a prenuptial agreement before they walk down the aisle and get married to their one true love. Even though some people may think that prenuptial agreements are an "anti-love" contract, these documents actually serve many critical purposes. They protect the spouses in case of divorce; they can expedite the divorce process; and it affords the spouses a chance to talk about some important issues before they get married.

But what issues can be addressed by a prenuptial agreement? And what topics are off the table? Here is a look at the matters that can, and can't, be addressed in a prenup:

You can't address...

  • Anything illegal, but that should be obvious.
  • Anything that deals with child support or child custody. These topics are addressed on their own and with the courts when a divorce is filed.
  • Anything that would encourage divorce.
  • Anything that would waive your right to alimony (spousal support).

But you can address...

  • Separate and marital property. Depending on how assets and property are classified, it changes how they are dealt with during a divorce.
  • Provisions that provide for children from another relationship.
  • Issues that deal with your estate or a family business.
  • Provisions that would define the terms of property division and asset allocation in case of a divorce.
  • Details about how your marriage will function in terms of responsibilities for each spouse.

Prenuptial agreements can cover a lot of ground, and they serve an important purpose. Make sure you discuss this document with an attorney early on, though.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed June 13, 2017

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