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The limitations of a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements have been around for a while, but they have really grown in popularity in recent years. Millennials, in particular, have discovered the advantages, and many lawyers around the United States have reported an increase in the number of couples asking about prenups. 

Prenups are useful for hammering out financial details of a divorce, which can prevent a lot of headaches if the marriage leads to that. However, a judge may throw out an entire prenup if it includes details the law does not allow. Couples need to be aware of these limitations, so they do not jeopardize the integrity of the document. 

Verbal agreements

First and foremost, it is critical to understand a prenup is only valid if you write it down. An attorney needs to notarize the document, and people need to be present as witnesses. You and your spouse agreeing to conditions verbally will not hold up in court. This is true of all legal documents, so no matter what you agree to, you need to ensure you write it down. 

Anything that is unfair

Some spouses think they can protect all their assets in a prenup, and that is not always necessarily the case. If both spouses make roughly the same amount of money, then they may be able to keep their money without paying alimony. However, when one spouse makes substantially more than the other, a prenup cannot eliminate alimony entirely. Unfair terms also relate to one spouse suffering from exploitation during the marriage. 

Child custody, support and visitation

Numerous factors play into child visitation, custody and support. You cannot possibly anticipate all these factors before you even say "I do." A judge needs to weigh in, so you cannot include information related to this in a prenup. However, a prenup can help to protect the assets of any children one of the spouses has from a previous relationship. 

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Wolinetz & Horvath
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