If you and your partner make a prenuptial agreement before you get married, you may want to make sure that absolutely everything is covered. If you get overzealous, you might end up with a prenup that is actually invalid, or at least part of an agreement that cannot be legally enforced. This is what happens when people try to address child custody with their prenuptial agreements. A Memphis, Tennessee child custody lawyer can tell you more about how child custody is actually decided.
Why Can’t I Cover Child Custody in a Prenup?
Child custody can be included in a prenuptial agreement, but this is unlikely to be the last say on the matter. This is because the Tennessee family courts are in charge of making the final determination here. You can say that someone should have primary custody in a prenuptial agreement, but many things can change in the time between signing the agreement and a divorce.
What Needs to Be Considered When Child Custody is Decided?
The court needs to look at the current situation and decide what is in the child’s best interest right now. They can look at a wide range of elements to make that decision, including:
- The finances of both parents
- Where the homes of each parent are located
- A child’s preference, if they are old enough to express one
- Any history of abuse or domestic violence
- Which parent can provide a stable home
The situation now may be different than the one you signed a prenup under. The court needs to evaluate the current situation and the child’s current needs.
Will I Need to Pay Child Support?
Whoever is not chosen to be the custodial parent will have to pay child support. This is also not something that can generally be worked out in advance with a prenuptial agreement. The court will look at the financial situation of each spouse and the standard of living that was achieved before the marriage ended. If you get assigned to pay child support and you neglect to make payments, you could face fines and even prison time.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Having an attorney is advisable whether you are fighting for child custody or arranging a prenuptial agreement. You want a prenup to protect you and your assets, but it cannot do that if it has not been properly drafted or if provisions about child custody, something that should not be in there, have been included in the document.
If you are fighting for child custody, your lawyer can help you put your best foot forward. The court will look at a lot of factors to determine who should be the custodial parent, and we can help you make the most effective argument for custody.
Contact Our Legal Team
If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements, child custody, or anything else, we are ready to assist you. Contact Rice Law and schedule a consultation with our team today.