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What can I put in a prenup?

When deciding whether or not you want a prenup, it’s important to be aware of both what can and cannot be included in the paperwork. A prenuptial agreement is considered a legally binding document, and as such, must meet certain terms under the law. If you attempt to include something in a prenuptial agreement that the prenup cannot legally cover, this could mean the entire document is rendered inadmissible in the divorce proceedings.

First and foremost, prenups must not contain anything illegal. They also cannot detail any agreements on child support or child custody matters as those are decided by the state courts. These two issues are always determined by what the court believes is in the best interests of the child and not by what the parents decided was best before the marriage even took place. Prenups can also not lay down any rules or terms regarding nonfinancial issues.

Another important thing to understand is that prenups cannot encourage divorce. This part can be confusing as any kind of discussion over who gets what in the divorce can be seen as encouraging the end of the relationship for financial benefit.

If the court decides that the prenup is invalid, no matter the reason, this means that you will then be dealing with the Texas guidelines for property division, which could mean splitting property that you would have preferred to keep in the family. If you have questions about what you can put in your prenup or are concerned that an existing prenuptial agreement may be invalid, it’s important to talk with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, “What Can and Cannot be Included in Prenuptial Agreements,” accessed July 23, 2015

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