What Can (and Can't) a Prenup Do? 2

Understanding the Basics

Although many see a prenuptial agreement as a “fix-all” kind of document, the truth is there are some things it just can’t do. A prenup is designed to address the financial aspects of your relationship. This includes property division, assets, expenditures and debts. What a prenup cannot do however, is outline all the personal, day-to-day decisions that all married couples must make.

What can a prenup do?

  • Separate your property so that yours is yours and theirs is theirs in the event of a divorce .
  • Document financial agreements such as putting each other through college or purchasing a house with a trust fund or inheritance.
  • Fund future expenditures such as college for your children or starting up a new business.
  • Stipulate basic financial responsibilities such as filing your taxes and paying bills.
  • Provide future support such as life insurance policies or health insurance for you and your children.
  • Separate your debt so that you are not responsible for specific debts incurred prior to marriage.

What can’t a prenup do?

  • Divide up household chores, such as laundry, dishes and grocery shopping.
  • Dictate relationships with your friends, in-laws or co-workers.
  • Place restrictions on having children or dictate the number you will have.
  • Create benefits that would encourage or entice one party or the other to divorce.
  • In addition to these guidelines, a prenup hasno effect on child support or visitation rights. Some states also don’t allow alimony waivers so check your state’s laws before you begin to draft your agreement.

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