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Considering a prenup? Know what to include and what to avoid

Couples that are about to walk down the aisle may consider a prenuptial agreement to protect both parties. Prenups aren't the taboo contracts that society used to frown upon. Today, they are vital documents that most couples should at least discuss before getting married. Even if you don't end up signing a prenup, the conversation itself can at least allow the couple to discuss some important financial and life topics that may not have happened if the prenup conversation hadn't been made.

If you decide to sign a prenup though, you should know what is allowed and what is forbidden in a prenuptial agreement.

As far as what you can include in a prenup, there is actually quite a bit the contract can cover. You can protect yourself from your spouse's debts (and vice versa). You can dictate what is marital and separate property, as well as how property division is handled in case of a divorce. You can also protect your estate plan in a prenup, in addition to defining what kind of responsibilities each spouse will have in the marriage.

Of course, there are plenty of things that you can't include in a prenup. For example, you can't include anything that pertain to child custody or child support. You also can't waive your right to alimony (or spousal support), nor can you have language in the contract that encourages divorce. It should also go without saying, but you can't include anything illegal in your prenup.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed April 28, 2016

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