No matter how confident one may be in his or her relationship, the reality is that following marriage, divorce is always a possibility. Preparing for this possible outcome is sometimes painted as lacking confidence or trust, but it is simply about recognizing that things do not always proceed as planned. A prenuptial agreement is an excellent way to protect one’s self should a marriage ultimately end in divorce. However, it is important to understand that prenups are not catch-all agreements that can cover anything and everything related to Minnesota family law.

Prenuptial agreements can discern between personal and marital assets, ensuring that personal assets are protected during property division. By limiting one’s debt liability, it is also possible to prevent creditors from going after marital assets should one spouse have a substantial amount of debt. Specific information regarding children from past relationships, inheritances and spousal responsibilities are also frequently outlined in prenups. Examples of spousal responsibilities include who is responsible for managing household finances, how much each spouse should contribute to a savings account and how one spouse will financially support the other through school.

To ensure that a prenuptial is fully enforceable, it is a good idea to avoid topics that a prenuptial agreement cannot address. For example, couples cannot arrange child custody or support arrangements in a prenuptial agreement. Provisions such as financial incentives that seem to encourage divorce are also not permitted. Personal responsibilities for things like child rearing and other personal preferences are also not enforceable. Marital expectations must stick to financial matters, not personal.

Just like one might prepare for several different outcomes when applying for jobs or considering a cross country move, it is a good idea to prepare for various marital outcomes. A prenuptial agreement offers several opportunities to preserve one’s personal assets and finances. Learning as much as possible about these helpful documents is important though, as it is not uncommon for Minnesota judges to decide that some prenups are not enforceable.