Can I address child custody in a prenuptial agreement?

Can I address child custody in a prenuptial agreement?

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If you plan to get married and have children, it’s worth considering how you can potentially protect your parenting time in the event of a divorce. Many couples wonder if they can address child custody arrangements in their prenuptial agreement. While you can specify asset ownership and how they should be divided if the marriage fails, there are limitations to what you can include in a prenuptial agreement. If you want to protect yourself from an uncertain future, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable ​​Nassau County Prenuptial Agreement Attorney who can help you understand the various benefits of creating a prenuptial agreement. 

Is it possible to add child custody provisions in a prenuptial agreement?

Unfortunately, despite wanting to mitigate the risk of conflict in the future regarding custody decisions, you cannot address child custody or child support in a prenuptial agreement, even if your spouse agrees to your wishes. This legal contract is ultimately a resource for financial decisions. The main issue with including child custody provisions in a prenuptial agreement is that they could be unfair and neglect the child’s best interests. When parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, the decision falls onto the court’s lap. In such cases, a judge will devise an appropriate structure that prioritizes safeguarding a child’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

Although the court believes that it is in a child’s best interest to benefit from having a relationship with both parents, this is sometimes not an appropriate arrangement as one parent may be unable to provide a safe living environment or meet a child’s needs. In addition, a legal custodial parent should be provided with the proper child support to ensure that a child is supported financially for their basic needs, no matter the outcome of their parent’s divorce. Therefore, if an individual waives their parental rights or right to child support through a prenuptial agreement, that could negatively impact a child. Ultimately, child custody and support cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement because the court will decide in favor of what is in the child’s best interest, regardless of what is stipulated in a prenuptial agreement.

What can I include in a prenuptial agreement?

While you cannot address child custody or child support, that does not mean that prenuptial agreements are not beneficial. With a prenuptial agreement, you can make distinctions about property division, meaning you can dictate who gets what in the event of a divorce. Martial property will be divided equitably between a divorcing couple, but not necessarily in an even 50/50 split. To protect your separate property, you can include provisions stipulating asset ownership. You can also include your spouse’s debt to protect yourself from future liability. Despite not accumulating the debt, creditors can still come after you if it is considered marital property. Ultimately, there are numerous issues you can address in a prenuptial agreement to reduce conflict in the future.

It is imperative to understand that drafting a prenuptial agreement does not mean you think your marriage will end. It’s simply an additional layer of protection in unexpected situations. Please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., who can help you safeguard your assets.




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