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Can a Prenuptial Agreement Dictate Child Support Payments?

Modern couples planning their marriage often find that prenuptial agreements are useful tools. They are especially helpful when one or both individuals entering marriage have significant assets to protect. One common mistake couples make when entering prenuptial agreements in California is including terms the court is likely to reject – like pre-determined child support payment amounts.

Courts prefer divorcing parents to create a parenting plan outlining physical and legal custody of their children. When parents agree on the terms together, it usually results in lower levels of conflict and less stress for all involved. But this preference for amicable co-parenting does not mean that the court allows parents to dictate the terms of child custody. The court does not recognize prenuptial agreement clauses that attempt to establish the terms of child custody and child support preemptively. While there are multiple reasons for this, the main reason is that the court holds a responsibility to protect the best interests of the child.

The prenup can protect specific assets for specific children, but it cannot dictate child support as the court determines child support terms after reviewing the finances of both parents and additional factors as defined by law per the best interests of the child. By law, children have the right to be supported financially by their parents, but the law does not provide parents with the right to determine that financial support.

California couples seeking to enter marriage with the support of a prenuptial agreement should carefully consider the issues they would like to include. The prenuptial agreement can represent both parties’ wishes and protect the rights and privileges of both spouses. Make sure your prenuptial agreement will be enforceable by working with an experienced California prenup lawyer.

If you need help understanding your rights as you create a prenuptial agreement that accurately portrays your priorities for marriage and family, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.



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