Prior to their marriage, couples will often sit down to draft a strong prenuptial agreement. This type of marital contract is generally put in place to ensure clarity around various financial aspects of the relationship. Should disagreements arise, the prenuptial agreement can provide guidance to the couple seeking to end the marriage. Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that couples should not include in their prenuptial agreement.
One factor that couples mistakenly try to include in a prenuptial agreement are lifestyle provisions. Lifestyle provisions or lifestyle clauses come about when parties in the relationship attempt to expand the scope of the prenuptial agreement to include factors focusing on their daily life – elements it was never intended to address. For example:
- Body or health clauses: It is not uncommon for individuals to attempt to work details around their partner’s body, eating or workout habits into the prenup. Whether these amount to the number of times per week the spouse must exercise or the maximum amount of weight he or she is allowed to gain over the relationship, these provisions have no place in the legal document.
- Housework or errands clauses: Some couples attempt to organize their relationship down to the smallest detail. While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, the prenuptial agreement isn’t the place to do it. By assigning who will do the dishes or the grocery shopping within the context of the prenup, couples run the risk of having the document deemed invalid by a judge.
- Intimacy clauses: Whether written in jest or to counter what happened in a prior relationship, individuals might attempt to insert lifestyle provisions centering on an intimacy schedule. This is an inappropriate use of the marital contract and will likely result in admonishment by the court.
The prenuptial agreement serves to record and clarify financial elements of a relationship. Whether it is money in a savings account, vehicle ownership or stake in a business, this pre-marital contract is useful for resolving future debates. Unfortunately, too many couples attempt to use the document for provisions the legal system never designed it for.