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What should we exclude from our prenup?

If you are engaged and planning a wedding, you may be considering the inclusion of a prenuptial agreement in the arrangement. This is a wise decision in many ways. A prenuptial agreement can provide many protections for both parties in a marital union, should the union ever end. This also can serve to confirm that both spouses have love and devotion as primary motivators and have no intention of profiting from the union.

So what should you exclude when drafting a prenuptial agreement? Judges will often turn away a contract that appears frivolous or includes any decisions that may not be considered as fair and balanced. The purpose of the prenup isn't to establish ground rules for your relationship but is instead intended as a document to help determine financial splits upon the potential dissolution of the marriage as well as protection from debts established prior to your union.

Some things are obvious. You cannot include anything illegal in your prenup. Just because you are establishing some marital rules in a sense, that does not mean you can rewrite state or federal legislation.

You cannot establish child support, visitation or child custody orders in your prenup. Moreover, your prenup cannot dictate how you will raise your children. However, you can include provisions for children from a previous marriage to receive property or money upon your death.

Your prenup cannot appear to contain any incentive for divorcing such as provisions for the division of property where one spouse would benefit. If a judge reads that as a motivation for divorce, the judge may throw the contract out.

Your prenup is an important document and the fact that you are considering one can mean you are thinking about every aspect of a major benchmark of your life. Enlisting the help of a California family law attorney can be invaluable in protecting what you wish to retain and starting your future off with a stable foundation.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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