While prenuptial agreements have historically battled a negative connotation, modern couples are starting to fully understand their intended purpose and the protections afforded in them. This type of marital contract exists to help couples list out the assets they are bringing to the marriage. Over the course of a relationship, who originally owned what can often get blurred and it is wise to have a clear record.
Unfortunately, some couples attempt to draft the prenuptial agreement to include provisions it was never intended to cover. For example:
- Provisions for spousal support in divorce: Including a provision that details spousal support can be seen as a divorce incentive. In essence, a promise that specifies a dollar figure or includes an agreement that no alimony will be paid might get the contract invalidated by the court.
- Provisions for child custody and child support: Like the above, the court will likely invalidate a prenuptial agreement that attempts to resolve disputes before they are disputes in a divorce. The court prefers to look at the current situation when determining what is in the best interest of the children rather than relying on an agreement signed prior to the wedding.
- Provisions for lifestyle factors: Some couples will attempt to include chores, workout routines, exercise regimens, schedules of intimacy or other elements of their lifestyle. These agreements, made in jest or not, have no place in a pre-marital contract.
Prenuptial agreements exist to help each individual in a relationship specify what property they are independently bringing into the couple. From ownership in a business to the size of a bank account, the couple can use this tool to clarify assets that might prove confusing to divide if divorce becomes a reality. Unfortunately, many couples might overreach the scope of the contract by including things that should not be mentioned.