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What things can a prenuptial agreement cover?

If you are a Michigan resident who is planning to get married soon, you may be wondering whether or not signing a prenuptial agreement is a good idea for you and your soon-to-be spouse. FindLaw explains that prenuptial agreements are a legal step that many engaged couples take prior to getting married. While traditionally thought advantageous only for wealthy people, prenups can benefit others as well since they set forth the agreements the parties have come to regarding their property and financial rights and obligations should the marriage end in divorce.

Given that many states, including Michigan, distinguish between marital and separate property when assets are divided during a divorce, a prenup can solve that possible future dilemma. You and your fiancé can agree on what types of property belong to each of you separately, as opposed to jointly, in the event your marriage ends in divorce or one of you dies. In addition, a prenup can cover other matters, including the following:

  • Limiting the types of marital debt for which you are responsible
  • Providing for children you have by a previous relationship
  • Keeping a family business or family heirlooms and inheritances in your family
  • Protecting any estate plan you already have in existence
  • Setting forth any agreements you and your fiancé may have with regard to your own investments, retirement benefits, income tax deductions, credit card purchases and payments, 401(k) contributions, etc.

What cannot be covered

Obviously, your prenup cannot include anything that would be considered illegal in Michigan. Additionally, it cannot include anything about child custody and/or support, nor can it waive your right to spousal support in the event of a divorce. Finally, your prenup must cover only financial-related matters, not personal matters. For instance, it cannot include things such as the following:

  • Which of you has which chores
  • Which of you gets to decide where to go on vacations or where to spend holidays
  • Which of you gets to decide issues about child rearing

This is general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice.

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