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Can I Include Child Custody in a Prenuptial Agreement in New Jersey?

If you and your spouse have decided on a prenuptial agreement, it’s imperative to understand what you can and cannot include in this agreement. Most people assume that as long as both parents agree and the terms are fair, the conditions in a prenuptial agreement will be enforced. However, this is not the case for matters involving child custody. As such, it’s imperative to enlist the help of New Jersey prenuptial agreement attorneys when you’re ready to create a contract. The following blog explores more about these matters.

Can I Address Child Custody in Prenuptial Agreement?

Child custody and child support terms cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. Generally, this is because you cannot predict how much money you will make in order to adequately support the child or which parent is more willing or suitable to receive primary custody. For example, you may want to set aside $300 per month in your agreement to child support should you get divorced. However, if you receive a promotion and a significant pay increase, you may make considerably more money. As such, it would be unfair to the spouse with primary custody and the child to only provide the pre-determined $300.

Because of these situations, child custody and support payments are determined during the divorce proceedings. If there is a prenuptial agreement that includes these matters, it could be deemed invalid. However, the courts may simply revoke these terms while enforcing the other conditions.

What Can I Include in a Prenup?

Though you cannot include terms about child custody or support, there are additional agreements you can create. For example, you may decide that whichever spouse receives primary custody of the child will receive the family home. This can help reduce disruption for your children, as they will not have to move.

Additionally, you may include terms about inheritances for your children. This is applicable if you have a piece of family property you would like to remain in your birth family.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Write an Agreement?

If you want to create a prenup but want to ensure the terms of your agreement are legally binding, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Because you must have this document completed before you are legally married, you should begin creating your contract sooner rather than later.

Your attorney can help ensure your agreement adheres to New Jersey state laws to prevent it from being deemed invalid and dismissed in the event you and your spouse divorce. They can also assist you in exploring options to care for children in your agreement without breaking the law.

At Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn, we understand how complex these circumstances can be. As such, our dedicated firm is here to assist you when you are ready to establish a prenuptial agreement. Contact us today to learn how our legal team can guide you through this process.

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