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Drafting a prenup: what to include and what to avoid

A prenuptial agreement is an important contract for many couples. But before drafting one and actually signing one, there are a couple of things that the couple must do. First, they must have a detailed conversation about their relationship and the issues relating to a prenup. This is crucial. Communicating with each other and having a mutual understanding of the issues can help with drafting a prenup and also strengthen your relationship.

The other thing you must do is fully understand what you can, and can't, discuss in your prenup. There are very specific issues that you are allowed to talk about, and others that are strictly forbidden.

Let's talk about what you can include:

  • You can distinguish between property that is contained within the marriage (marital property) and belongs to just you or your spouse (separate property)
  • You can establish guidelines for the property division process in case of divorce
  • You can protect your estate plan and family business, as well as distinguish what debt belongs to which spouse
  • You can make provisions for children from a previous relationship

As great as all of that is, there are things you can't discuss, such as:

  • Child custody or child support
  • Waiving your right to alimony
  • Provisions that would encourage divorce
  • Anything that is illegal

Prenuptial agreements can provide so much support and security for a married couple. But in order to get to that point, you have to know how to properly draft these contracts first.

Source: FindLaw, "What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements," Accessed Dec. 7, 2017

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