Having a prenuptial agreement can protect both partners in the event of a divorce. This agreement is especially important for those who have a business coming into the marriage or family money as well as for those entering into a second marriage.
A prenup is not a free-for-all. Ultimately, it is up to a judge to determine whether or not the contract is enforceable.
What couples may include and not include in an agreement
According to FindLaw, a couple can and should include any or all of the following in the agreement:
- Family and separate property
- Inheritance for children from previous marriages
- Protection against a spouse’s debt
- Retirement benefits
- Management of bank accounts
- Ownership of separate businesses
There are some limitations to what couples can include. One of the big ones is decisions about child custody and child support. During a divorce, parents can develop a custody schedule that takes their child’s needs into account, or else a judge will determine custody based on factors involving the best interests of the child. State law provides a formula for calculating custody based on parents’ income and other matters.
The agreement should also not contain personal preferences, such as who will do the housework.
Reasons the court may not enforce a prenuptial agreement
In the event divorce does occur, a judge examines the prenup to see if it is enforceable. According to the Connecticut General Assembly, the court will not enforce an agreement if one party did not sign the agreement voluntarily or did not get the chance to have an attorney review it. A prenup may also not be enforceable if either party was not forthcoming about income, property value or other financial information.