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What should and should not be included in a prenuptial agreement?

Most people who are planning to marry can benefit from establishing a prenuptial agreement. This is especially true for individuals who have a considerable amount of assets prior to marrying as well as those who have a stake in a family business. In order to ensure that the terms of a prenup are legally binding and, if necessary, will hold up in court; it's important to turn to an attorney for advice and assistance.

For example, in addition to the inclusion of state-specific language, there are also certain provisions that should never be included in a prenup. For example, decisions related to child custody must be determined by the rules of a family court and should therefore not be included in a prenup. Additionally, such agreements are meant to deal primarily, if not exclusively, with financial matters. It's never advisable, therefore, to include provisions related to personal issues such as a spouse maintaining a certain weight or each spouse’s responsibilities with regard to household chores.

In the eyes of the family court, "society has an interest against divorce." Therefore, the inclusion of any language that appears to promote or somehow reward one or both spouses for a divorce will be highly scrutinized and ultimately denounced by a judge. It's also important not to include details related to any type of illegal activities. Say for example that one spouse earns a considerable amount of money from drug dealing activities. Including details related to the distribution or sharing of assets derived from illegal activities should never be included in a prenuptial agreement.

When it comes to establishing a valid prenuptial agreement that fulfills an individual's and couple's needs, there are certain provisions that should and should not be included. Massachusetts residents who have questions about prenuptial agreements are advised to contact an attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," Dec. 11, 2015 

FindLaw.com, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Dec. 11, 2015

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