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What You Need to Know About Prenups & Child Support

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If you're planning on getting married, a prenuptial agreement may be the furthest thing from your mind. But, if you are wealthy or if you own a business, it may be the first thing that your friends and family are thinking about when you talk about marrying your sweetheart.

Perhaps this isn't your first marriage, and you're already thinking that a prenup would be a good idea. In fact, you may be thinking that it's the only way you'll give true love another chance.

Whatever your situation, a prenuptial or "premarital" agreement can lay the groundwork for a smooth divorce should you and your new spouse decide to go separate ways. So, what can a California prenup include? Can a spouse waive their rights to spousal support or child support? This is a very good question.

What can a prenuptial agreement include?

Providing the legal requirements are met, a couple can agree to waive their rights to spousal support as long as it's not unconscionable, or extremely unfair. For example, if the situation is extreme and one spouse would be left penniless while the other spouse lives in luxury, the court may not uphold the agreement.

In a prenuptial agreement, spouses can waive their rights to spousal support (providing it doesn't force one spouse to turn to welfare), and they can also agree to change the nature of separate or community property.

For example, if a spouse owned a home separately before the marriage, they can agree that in the event of divorce, their spouse can receive that property, even though they wouldn't ordinarily be entitled to it.

The spouses can also agree to waive their inheritance rights; this often occurs when spouses have children from previous marriages and they want to ensure their assets are passed on to their children.

About Child Support

While much is negotiable in a prenup, child support is not a bargaining chip. You cannot contract away your obligation to pay child support in a prenup – the courts will always have the authority to make child support and child custody decisions in a divorce.

You can, however, agree to pay more support than what the law requires of you. For example, you can agree to pay all of an adult child's college education.

We hope this clears up any questions about prenuptial agreements and child support. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney at our firm!

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