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What Can and Cannot Be Included in A Prenuptial Agreement?

prenuptial agreement attorneys in Louisville

Prenuptial agreements can be helpful to both parties as they work to reduce potential grounds of future marital disputes while solidifying the terms of their relationship and marriage. Based on this, just one wrong clause or loosely worded term in a prenup can render it ineffective or put you at a disadvantage.

It’s best to work with an experienced family law attorney to prevent costly errors in this document that have the potential to impact your long-term future.

Things that Can be Included in Prenuptial Agreements

In Kentucky, prenuptial agreements are also called premarital and antenuptial agreements. There are certain things that can be included as part of a prenuptial agreement in the Commonwealth.

These rules are set in place to prevent unsuspecting spouses from being taken advantage of. A judge may throw the prenuptial agreement out if these requirements are not met.

These are a few items that can be made part of the prenuptial agreement:

Distribution of marital property

You can make distinctions between marital and separate property. In Kentucky, marital property is distributed equitably. The court will divide the marital property while leaving separate property as individually owned. You can use the prenuptial agreement to prevent the state from deciding how the marital estate will be divided.

Protection against debt

Creditors may come after the marital property even if only one spouse is the debtholder. You can use a prenuptial agreement to limit your debt liability and avoid going bankrupt during a divorce.

Provisions regarding existing children

You may want your children from previous relationships to inherit some part of your property. You can make such provisions through a prenup.

Protecting your family property

You can specify clear instructions in the prenuptial agreement to keep a family business, family heirloom, other pieces of property, or future inheritance in the birth family.

Protections for Estate Plans

While you need to create and secure living trusts and wills to ensure an estate plan, you can use a prenuptial agreement to make sure your wishes are carried out as you see fit.

Things that cannot be a Part of the Prenuptial Agreement

Kentucky laws restrict the things that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. These are a few matters to be aware of:

Provisions regarding illegal objects and services

You cannot include anything illegal in the prenup. You may place the entire prenuptial document at risk by doing so.

Child support or custody

Prenuptial agreements cannot include child custody and child support issues. The court will make the final call on these issues based on the best interests of the child. Issues regarding child support, custody, and visitation are matters of public policy. The court will not deny the child the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with a fit parent or the right to financial support.

Provisions that encourage divorce

Prenuptial agreements were not allowed in Kentucky until 1990 when the Kentucky Supreme Court joined several other states in letting spouses determine their own financial rights. Judges will scrutinize the details of the prenup to look for anything that seems to be a financial incentive for a divorce.

Details about personal matters

You cannot include personal preferences in the prenuptial agreement. For instance, whose name to use, who does what chores, where to spend the holidays, details about child-rearing, or the kind of relationship to have with relatives. Prenuptial agreements can only be used for addressing financial issues.

Inserting domestic matters into the document may make it look frivolous and could cause it to be struck down. You and your spouse can have a separate agreement in writing about personal matters.

Common Issues Addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich. Many couples decide on signing prenuptial agreements before getting married for its several advantages. These are a few commonly included items in prenuptial agreements:

  • Retirement benefits.
  • Separate businesses.
  • Management of household expenses and bills.
  • Income, deductions, and claims for filing tax returns.
  • Arrangements regarding investments made in certain projects and purchases, like a business or a house.
  • Managing joint bank accounts.
  • Savings contributions.
  • Management of credit card payments and spending.
  • Arrangements to put a spouse through school.
  • Property distribution, including life insurance.
  • Agreement to use arbitration or mediation to settle potential disagreements.

Get a Compassionate Family Law Attorney on Your Side Today

The seasoned family law attorneys at the law firm of John H. Ruby & Associates have extensive experience and knowledge in the area of prenuptial agreements. Our attorneys can draw up a document that reflects your and your spouse’s wishes while being enforceable and effective in a court of law.

To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at (502) 895-2626 or complete this online form