Historically, the prenuptial agreement has endured a largely poor reputation. Whether this was from news reports of celebrity divorces or how content creators portrayed the document in popular media, individuals often saw them in a negative light. Fortunately, people now tend to see the prenuptial agreement for the legal document it is – a way for a couple to clearly spell out asset ownership and debt responsibility that each party brings to the marriage.
While every marital situation is different, there are common problems that couples should avoid when drafting their prenuptial agreement, including:
- Including lifestyle provisions: Whether it is an attempt at humor, or a true desire to maintain a status quo, many couples attempt to include various lifestyle provisions in their prenuptial agreement. These provisions can include language about who does what chores, where vacations will be taken, how often the couple will be intimate each week and how often each partner must exercise.
- Including terms that could be an inducement for divorce: While they might think they are avoiding unnecessary disputes in the future, including language about a potential divorce could invalidate the pre-marital contract. These terms could include financial incentives such as a promised property division, support payments or ownership of a prized collection.
- Including language suggesting custody, visitation or a parenting plan: It is not uncommon for the couple to attempt to work through potential disputes while everyone is in the right spirit. The court, however, prefers to determine the resolution of such topics while the situation is fresh. Attempting to determine what is in the best interests of the children years in advance is a nearly impossible task.
Marital contracts such as the prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement are useful in a financial sense. The couple can build a clear record of who is bringing what assets and debts into the marriage. This document is helpful when divorce becomes a reality. The prenuptial agreement clarifies ownership of assets and debt responsibility that could have grown hazy during years or decades of marriage.