Can a prenuptial agreement cover custody child support?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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While you may be able to include some details about child custody and support in a prenuptial agreement, the court generally will not enforce any such details if they are against public policy or if the court believes it is not in the best interests of the child to enforce them.

Child Support and Prenuptial Agreements

Child support is generally considered to be a legal right belonging to every child. While the rules vary from state to state, most courts take steps to ensure that a child enjoys the same standard of living as the parents do. Child support is viewed as so important that enforcement rules may allow for the garnishment of wages or tax refunds, the loss of a drivers license for non-payment or even, in some cases, a jail term for nonpayment. If a prenuptial agreement waives child support or sets child support at a level that the court believes is too low, the court may either decline to enforce the prenuptial agreement on child support, or decline to enforce it generally as void or against public policy.

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Child Custody and Prenuptial Agreements

Determining child custody is another important issue, and the courts paramount focus when it comes to custody is doing what is in the best interests of the child. This means making sure the child is in a safe, stable environment and, in most cases, making sure the child is allowed to continue a relationship with both parents. As such, if a prenuptial agreement sets forth child custody rules that the court does not believe are in the best interests of the child, the court may also choose not to enforce these provisions.

Getting Help

When drafting a prenuptial agreement, it is important you make sure that the things you put into it have legal validity – especially when it comes to child support and child custody issues. To get help doing this, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer for guidance and advice.

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