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What can I include in a prenuptial agreement?

We've all heard of prenuptial agreements, either through characters on TV shows or high-paid celebrities, who always seem to be fighting over them. We think of them as documents that protect a spouse from having to part with a huge chunk of money in a divorce. While this is true, prenups can do a lot more than just that.

A prenuptial agreement can:

  • Protect spouses from each other's debts.
  • Detail what is marital property and what belongs just to you.
  • Take care of children from a spouse's previous marriage.
  • Detail marital responsibilities. For instance, a prenup can say who will handle the joint bank account, who will manage the household bills and how to put one spouse (or both) through school.
  • Keep family heirlooms in the family.
  • Determine how to handle future disagreements.

Prenups cannot include:

  • Anything about child custody, visitation or child support. These things would be decided during the divorce process.
  • Anything that's illegal.
  • Anything that encourages one member of the couple to divorce. For example, you cannot add a clause giving your spouse a financial incentive for ending the marriage.
  • Waive alimony rights. That's another thing that will be decided based on the particulars of your situation during the divorce.
  • Any non-financial, personal matters like who will do the chores, where you will go on vacation or how to raise the children.

If you have questions about getting a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, a family law attorney can answer them and may be able to help you draft one.

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Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: 703-650-0367
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