What Does a Prenup Cover
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

What does a prenup cover and protect?

Prenuptial agreements, or lack thereof, make for juicy tabloid headlines. They’re written about in songs and are the driving force behind movie and television plots. While they make for good entertainment, prenuptial agreements are also enforceable legal agreements. And anyone who is considering marriage should consider one. Prenuptial agreements can protect your assets and spell out the details of a separation or divorce long before the emotions of a breakup cloud judgments. By now, you are probably wondering “What does a prenup cover?”

What Does a Prenup Cover and Protect?

Prenuptial agreements include most financial matters about marriage. They can spell out how to divide your property in the event of a divorce or separation. They can also set provisions for financial responsibility during the marriage.

Additionally, prenuptial agreements can protect valuable assets acquired before the marriage, and in some instances, property acquired during the marriage.

For example, if you are expecting to receive a sizeable inheritance upon the passing of a loved one, your prenuptial agreement may cover this situation. There may be a provision that any inheritance acquired during the marriage remains the sole property of the inherited spouse. This means that during divorce proceedings the inherited assets would be protected from community property laws.

Prenuptial agreements protect and cover the following:

  • Protects education or retirement funds that either spouse accumulated before getting married
  • Covers property division that either spouse owns at the time of marriage
  • Covers spousal maintenance obligations should the marriage end in divorce
  • Covers direction of religious and education instruction of kids born during the marriage
  • Protects the finances of each spouse
  • Protects against having an obligation to pay your spouse’s debts
  • Protects inheritance
  • Protects rights of ownership in disability or life insurance policies

Many people think of prenuptial agreements solely focusing on the protection of assets for one party in the marriage. When in fact, they are often to ensure the financial health of both spouses. Prenuptial agreements, in most states, can also cover provisions about spousal support. An individual who agrees to stay home to support the household may want to include information about their spousal support in a prenuptial agreement. A prenup may also cover information about the paying off of debt and who will be responsible for debt acquired during the marriage.

What Can’t a Prenup Cover and Protect

While prenuptial agreements cover a comprehensive array of financial issues, a judge will not honor certain things in the event of a divorce. A prenup does not cover child support or decisions about a child’s upbringing. Making decisions relating to children will occur at the time of the divorce, while a state calculator will dictate child support payments.

Prenuptial agreements do not protect or cover the following:

  • Does not cover legal decision making for children
  • Does not cover child support
  • Does not determine which spouse has the right to the marital home, or rights to sell the home if the marriage ends in divorce
  • Does not define relationships with family or other personal matters

You’ve probably heard rumors about the inclusion of lifestyle clauses in prenuptial agreements. If you are wondering if a prenup covers lifestyle clauses, the answer is probably not.  A lifestyle clause is a clause in a prenup that takes into account the lifestyle choices of one partner and punishes or rewards them for it. Punishment for infidelity is the most common lifestyle clause. However, some people have suggested including terms about how much sex occurs, the cleanliness of the household and even the type of body one partner is to maintain. A judge will not honor these clauses in your prenup.

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Trust Ogborne Law for Your Prenuptial Agreement

Ogborne Law makes the process of drawing up legal documents easy and stress-free. While prenuptial agreements can cause stress and concern before the marriage, they remain a necessary part of a healthy relationship.

Ogborne Law also offers additional estate planning services you can use in conjunction with your prenuptial agreement. For more information about your options, and what a prenuptial can and can not cover, please schedule a consultation.