prenuptial agreement clauses
Anastasia Greer
Legal Intern at JUSTLAW
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‘Tis the Season for Common Prenup Clauses

Prenup agreements can be as powerful as the Christmas Spirit if you are looking to kick-start a smooth transition into marriage. They can allow you to customize your marriage and avoid whatever boilerplate rules your state has in place. But, it can be tough to figure out exactly what you and your partner want to include in your prenup, so JUSTLAW is here to lay out 6 common clauses for you below: 


**Please note that this is not a complete list of the prenup clauses JUSTLAW has to offer.

The list below provides some examples of what can be included in a prenup and how they function.


1. Defining “Separate” v. “Shared/Marital” property:

These provisions clearly define “what’s mine and what’s yours.” By and large, property is really anything that has value which one party can sell and another can buy. That includes (1) tangibles like your car, house, family heirloom, or even your pet, and (2) intangibles like investments and even intellectual property. “Separate property” usually means these types of properties that you brought with you into the marriage, but there may also be cases where you acquire property during marriage that still remains “separate” from your spouse.

Marital property” usually means the property both you and your spouse acquire during the marriage no matter whose name the property is in. To avoid contentious disagreements in court in the event of divorce, it is a smart choice to divide each of your assets and property beforehand.


But remember, debt is a form of property too. This means it can be shared/marital or separated accordingly, and this is important if you want to avoid taking on any debt (educational or otherwise) that your spouse may bring into your marriage.


2. Sunset Clause:

These clauses sound the same as they operate – essentially as an expiration date for your prenuptial agreement. However, it may be hard to predict exactly when you’ll no longer be in need of one, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney like those at JUSTLAW who can help you find the best way to write these provisions. For example, an amendment in the prenup that allows it to be modified when say – your finances – have changed, might do just the trick. These provisions leave room for changing finances and interests and can avoid default state rules governing when your agreement would otherwise expire. 

3. Social Image Clause:

Negative portrayals by your spouse on social media can adversely impact both your professional and your personal reputation. To avoid this, you may want to include a clause that restricts the kinds of damaging photos, videos, or harmful comments that can be made during your marriage and even after a divorce. While this might be the last topic you want to think about with your significant other, it can prevent a world of hurt and keep matters private if it comes down to it. You can learn more about social image clauses in prenups here. 

4. Dispute Resolution Clause:

If you and your spouse would rather avoid the inflated costs and hostility of court litigation in the event of divorce, you can contract for alternative forms of dispute resolution in your prenuptial agreement. These alternatives may include mediation (with a neutral third party) or negotiation as between the two of you. These more amicable routes to resolution may be a no brainer and easy to think about now while you are in love and collaborating anyways!

5. Pet Ownership Clause:

These provisions can detail exactly how you want to share custody of your pets, where they will live, who will be paying for vet care and insurance, and other day-to-day needs. You can even designate a primary caretaker. Most states still recognize animals as “property” between spouses – and this means it won’t be subject to the “best interests” standard of the judge as it is for child custody and support.  

6. Health and Life Insurance Clauses:

Having these insurance clauses in place will allow you and your future spouse to decide whether you will maintain life insurance policies to each other’s benefit and health insurance to the benefit of your family. 

If you want to give yourself the gift of a prenup or get some talking points for these important conversations with your spouse, learn more here and schedule a free consultation  with JUSTLAW today! 

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