Prenuptial agreements are contracts between people who plan to get married. They outline specific rights and intentions and help the parties understand how each will view the property they bring into their legal relationship. Maryland residents can use prenuptial agreements to make financial plans about their futures but also resolve some matters that may create conflict should the parties later divorce.
While prenuptial agreements can be powerful tools for married people, they are not capable of memorializing all marriage and divorce-related matters. This post will address some of the terms and topics that cannot be covered in prenups, but as with all posts on this blog, questions about prenuptial agreements should be brought up with trusted family law attorneys.
Terms that cannot be included in prenuptial agreements
Since prenuptial agreements are contracts, their terms are binding on the parties once the agreements are executed. To this end, prenups generally cannot bind the parties to engage in illegal actions or activities. Similarly, prenuptial agreements often cannot include provisions that entice the parties to later seek divorce from each other.
While financial affairs usually can be addressed in prenuptial agreements, matters regarding children must be excluded from such documents. Child custody and support are matters that courts evaluate during divorces and require considerations directly related to the kids’ needs and interests. Their resolution is managed during divorce proceedings when the children are present and their needs are established.
The benefits of prenuptial agreements
Although prenups cannot include all possible divorce-related terms, they are excellent devices for individuals who wish to establish some control over their property and financial lives. When preparing a prenuptial agreement, it can be helpful for an individual to have their family law attorney review it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. A careful check of a draft prenup can save an individual time, stress, and money when its terms come under scrutiny later during the individual’s divorce.