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Are there topics that are off limits in a prenuptial agreement?

The prenuptial agreement is a very important document in modern divorce. It was still important back in the day, but few people utilized this critical document because of a societal perception of the prenup. However, as the years have passed, this perception has changed, and many spouses are realizing that a prenup acts as protection for them as opposed to a confining and stress-inducing contract that causes them harm -- which used to be perception.

That stigma hasn't completely waned, but it's certainly fading. In any case, with people looking to prenups more and more, it is important for everyone to know what can, and can't, be placed in this contract. So here are three things that can, and three things that can't, be placed in your prenup:

Yes you can...

  • Define what property is separate and what property is considered a "marital asset." This is important in a community property state like Arizona.
  • Decide what debt belongs to who. In other words, you can protect yourself from your spouse's debt in case of divorce.
  • Insure and protect your estate plan. Of course, a lot more of this comes from the estate planning side of the law, but a prenup can address this topic.

No you can't...

  • Have provisions that detail or outline illegal activity.
  • Provide language that discusses child custody or child support. The best interests of a child rule over these topics, and as such, the topics are off limits in a prenup.
  • Have language that seems to encourage a divorce (such as financial incentives for certain behaviors or actions that would encourage a split).

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed Sept. 15, 2014

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