These days, many couples choose to enter a prenuptial agreement to protect themselves against unanticipated events in the future. When doing so, they have control over what topics they want to cover when establishing the terms of the agreement. For instance, a prenup can address issues related to assets and liabilities in case of a divorce or death.
However, a prenup has its limits and cannot cover certain subjects.
Matters involving children
While a child’s care is an important aspect to address both in marriage and divorce, prenuptial agreements cannot legally address matters involving a child’s custody, visitation and support. The main reason behind this limitation is that parents’ personal opinions and preferences may negatively impact their decisions while creating the agreement. This also prevents parents from waiving or limiting support obligations to their children.
Instead, courts are the ones to evaluate the available facts and circumstances of each case and come up with a custody, visitation and support order that will cater to the child’s best interests.
In Massachusetts, prenups cannot include lifestyle clauses, provisions that limit or waive a spouse’s right to spousal support or a fair share of marital properties if they violate the terms of the clause, such as gaining weight. These provisions are invalid and unenforceable.
Avoiding prenup complications
It is crucial for a prenuptial agreement to be fair and reasonable to both parties for it to be enforceable. Otherwise, it creates complications that can render the agreement invalid and cause additional stress and expenses to the parties.
Meticulously drafting the agreement with the guidance of a skilled legal professional can help avoid these issues.