You’re getting married, and you know that you plan to have children in the future. You want to make sure that your future with those children is always secure and that you get to spend time with them. You also know that divorce is fairly common and that you and your spouse might eventually split up. You don’t plan to on your wedding day, but it does happen to almost 700,000 couples annually.
As a result, you’re considering a prenuptial agreement. You want to make sure that it’s very clear who owns which assets and how they should be divided. Just in case a divorce happens, you know that you’ll be ready. You may also be thinking about adding provisions to your prenup to ensure that you get custody of your children. For better and for worse, you’re going to need to adjust that particular approach though.
Prenups cannot address child custody
You cannot actually add child custody provisions to your prenup, even if you want to protect that time with your children and even if your spouse agrees to your wishes. You’re not allowed to address either child support or child custody in a prenup. This legal resource is just for financial decisions and other such issues that you and your new spouse agree on together.
The problem with adding child custody rights to a prenup is that they could be unfair to a future child. The court, after all, is concerned with the child’s best interests. Most of the time, these best interests mean they should have a relationship with both of their parents – and they should get proper parental support, if necessary. Therefore, waving the right to either one of those in a prenup could potentially have a negative impact on a child – as could agreeing to joint custody only to discover that one parent is unfit.
This doesn’t mean that prenuptial agreements are not beneficial. They certainly can be helpful, giving you security and protecting the assets that you own and setting expectations for your marriage. It’s simply important to understand exactly what legal options you have and what steps to take in order to make the most of your prenup without crossing any lines that could render it unenforceable.