A prenuptial agreement provides a way for couples entering into marriage to establish the financial and property rights of each spouse if the marriage ends in divorce. But can issues related to children be included in a prenup? It may seem appealing to include child custody and child support in this agreement. However, these issues are excluded. Yes, divorce can get messy. It might be nice if the future of the children could be decided in advance if the marriage falls apart. However, this is currently not an option for a prenuptial agreement.
Here are 3 important facts you need to know about a prenuptial agreement and how it might impact your children:
Property Rights and Prenuptial Agreements
The focus of prenuptial agreements is financial and property rights. As a written contract signed by both parties prior to marriage, the prenup addresses factors including:
- How much alimony is appropriate
- Division of property
- Division of debts
- Confidentiality between spouses following a divorce. Typically, couples seek a prenuptial agreement when one spouse has greater wealth, earning potential, or expects to have a large inheritance. They are also common with partners who have gone through a previous divorce. They often want to protect themselves if it happens again.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Does NOT Cover
A prenuptial agreement cannot determine child custody, child support awards or visitation rights for current or future children who are a result of the relationship. For all of these issues related to children, a judge will make the decisions based on the best interests of the child—only after reviewing current evidence and testimony. This makes it impossible for the decision’s inclusion in a contract written in the beginning of the marriage. The judge considers the needs of the children at the exact time of the divorce. Therefore, pre-determined contractual terms are irrelevant.
What a Prenuptial Agreement CAN Cover
A prenuptial agreement can include inheritance and property rights of children from a prior relationship. When writing the agreement, the couple can include terms that address these rights for children from a relationship outside of their own. For example, if a woman has a child from a previous relationship and plans to receive a large family inheritance, a prenuptial agreement may address the property rights for her child. Finally, the same applies in the case of a parent wanting to ensure their child from a previous relationship inherits property, a family business or a family heirloom.
At Reeder Law Firm, our lawyers are knowledgeable regarding prenuptial agreements. We can help you understand how these laws may impact your children—both from the current relationship and from previous relationships. Our goal is to ensure our clients understand how the laws may affect them and their family members.
Seeking more information about a prenuptial agreement in the state of Georgia? Our team at Reeder Law Firm is here to help. Call (770) 475-2521 for a free consultation or to ask questions about your prenuptial agreement.