When you are preparing for your wedding, perhaps the last thing you might want to think about is the possibility of the marriage ending in divorce. However, taking a little time to make a backup plan that addresses various divorce-related issues, even though they may never arise, can give you and your partner peace of mind.
This is why it can be wise to create a prenuptial agreement. These contracts set critical guidelines and expectations that only come into play if a couple divorces, which can make the difficult process of ending a marriage a little easier. Below, we discuss some of the elements you might address in your prenup. There could be some that surprise you.
Property is the most common element of a prenuptial agreement. People often use a prenup to identify separate property, or property that belongs to one partner, and decide what will happen to that property in divorce.
You can also make decisions on how you will address debts that individuals carry into the union. Often, individual debts will remain with the borrower in the event of a divorce, but sometimes separate debt can become a marital debt. Addressing it in a prenup can prevent or account for this.
If you have children from a previous relationship, you can protect property you want them to inherit someday with a prenup. You can also make decisions on what will happen to any reproductive material either party has frozen in a plan to someday start a family.
You might also address pet ownership and custody in a prenuptial agreement.
Addressing other issues in a prenup
Income classification, marital roles, spousal support, inheritances and business interests are also items worth examining when it comes to a prenuptial agreement.
Understand, though, that there are many things you cannot or should not include a valid prenuptial agreement. For instance, you cannot make decisions on child custody or support, and you cannot include illegal clauses.
As this FindLaw article notes, there is no fixed rule when it comes to what a Michigan prenuptial agreement must include. As such, discussing the details of your case with an attorney can be wise so you can secure a valid agreement that fits your specific needs.