If you and your partner have decided to create a prenuptial agreement, you should know what you can and cannot do with your prenup.
These contracts can provide valuable protection for spouses, but there are limits. And including inappropriate or unenforceable elements in your agreement could render it invalid.
CLAUSES TO LEAVE OUT OF YOUR PRENUP
A California prenuptial agreement can identify parties’ separate assets and liabilities and provide directions for financial division upon divorce. Generally, they make it easier for spouses to exit a marriage on agreed-upon terms.
They are not the place to include elements such as:
- Matters related to child support
- Clauses encouraging or rewarding divorce
- Requirements to engage in or cover up illegal activity
- Exploitative or deceptive terms
- Agreements to give up individual rights
California courts could also set aside contracts that include personal restrictions, like:
- Maintaining their appearance
- Assigning household duties
- Forcing intimacy
It is typically unwise to include these non-financial aspects in a divorce, as courts could refuse to enforce them.
LEAVING ROOM FOR PERSONALIZATION
This is not to say that every prenup must be the same for everyone and include nothing but financial data. You can be creative and personalize your agreement in several ways. You might discuss:
- Alimony award schedules and amounts
- A sunset clause to terminate the contract after a certain number of years
- Educational and professional goals
- Voiding of specific terms in the event of material changes
- Possible pet custody arrangements
In other words, there are several ways to personalize your agreement to ensure it fits your needs and your unique relationship.
AVOID TAKING UNNECESSARY RISKS
A prenup can be a powerful tool, but only if it is enforceable. Thus, it is generally important to refrain from taking unnecessary risks like lying or entering into the contract without individual legal representation.
Too often, people let misconceptions or misunderstandings about prenups drive their decisions, leading to complications down the line.
Avoiding the elements discussed in this post can strengthen a legal contract and help you feel more confident in your prenuptial agreement.