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What a prenuptial agreement can and can't contain in Minnesota

Planning ahead in case you and your spouse-to-be get divorced someday may seem like tempting fate. But creating a prenuptial agreement brings peace of mind to many engaged couples. If their marriage does not work out, they at least will not have to worry about a fight over property division and other issues.

A prenuptial agreement is a type of contract allowed under Minnesota law. As the name implies, the couple draws up the prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” prior to getting married, though postnuptial agreements are also an option for already-married couples.

In essence, a prenup details what the spouses agree to do in the event they ever get divorced. What they include in the document varies, but typically the couple includes a plan for division of marital property. They may also stipulate what will be considered marital property and what will not, which can be a big issue in property division.

The couple can also reach an agreement about whether one of them would receive alimony. State law does prevent the use of prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to decide certain things ahead of time, such as a child custody arrangement and child support.

These documents might be very helpful someday, but only if they are properly drafted and executed. An error could invalidate the prenup, and force you and your spouse to go through regular divorce proceedings. Alternatively, you or your spouse may wish to challenge the prenup. This is why having the assistance of a divorce attorney drawing up the prenuptial agreement is important.

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