Premarital agreements, referred to as prenuptial agreements in some states, are useful tools. They allow a couple to decide on financial and personal matters before they marry in a way that is legally binding.
Rhode Island law addresses what can and cannot be included in a premarital agreement.
Premarital agreements and financial matters
A premarital agreement can address many financial issues that may come up during the marriage or if the couple divorces.
A premarital agreement can describe each party’s right to property obtained during the marriage or that which was owned prior to marriage. A premarital agreement can also describe each party’s right to purchase or dispose of property.
A premarital agreement can address spousal support in the event of a divorce. For example, it could state how much will be paid in spousal support or it may state that no spousal support will be paid at all.
A premarital agreement can address the making of an estate plan that will carry out the terms of the agreement.
A premarital agreement can also include provisions stating which state’s laws will be followed in the making of the agreement. This could be Rhode Island law or another state’s laws.
Premarital agreements and child support
A premarital agreement can address child support. However, any provisions on child support cannot adversely affect the child’s statutory right to support.
So, while a premarital agreement cannot allow parents to pay less in child support than what the child is entitled to per state law, a premarital agreement can allow parents to pay more in child support than what the child is entitled to per state law.
Premarital agreements and personal matters
A premarital agreement can include provisions on personal rights and obligations. For example, the division of chores and other personal matters can be included in a premarital agreement. However, these provisions cannot violate public policy or constitute a criminal act.
Premarital agreements are useful tools
Premarital agreements can be useful tools in a marriage. Sometimes, talking about the tough divorce issues that could potentially arise in the future is beneficial. It sets the stage for positive communication, and it helps the divorce process run smoothly should it come to that.