Can I Address Child Custody In A Prenuptial Agreement?

child custody divorce new jersey

A prenuptial agreement offers a lot of benefits and such a document can do a lot to streamline the divorce process. However, one thing it cannot do is decide who gets custody of the children. There are a few different reasons for this, but one thing is certain. If you are serious about fighting for custody, you will want our child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ on your side.

What Can Be Covered in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is primarily concerned with assets and financial matters. One can outline what would happen to most of the family assets in the divorce, reducing the need for property to be divided up and contested during the divorce process itself. Some prenups can also contain provisions on how a divorce is handled, like a request for most of it to be handled via mediation instead of litigation.

Why Can’t We Put Child Custody in a Prenup?

Child custody and child support do seem like financial matters, but they are not ones that can really be decided by a prenup. This is because things can change between the prenup getting signed and the divorce occurring. At the same time, the court does not want custody to be decided based on something arbitrary in a prenup.

How Will the Court Decide on Child Custody and Visitation?

Instead, the court wants child custody to be decided by looking at the best interests of the child. A prenup agreement that says which parent they should go to and when is next to useless. The court has no way of knowing how this was decided, so it has to do some evaluations of its own. It can look at factors like:

  • The financial situation of both parents
  • The location of each parent’s home
  • Any history of domestic abuse
  • The fitness of each parent
  • Whether the child is old enough to express a preference for one parent over another
  • The child’s relationship with any step-siblings

A prenuptial agreement cannot consider all of these things or predict the future. So what the prenup says about child custody is simply not important. What matters is what a judge can evaluate right now.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

First of all, an attorney can help you write a prenuptial agreement that is legal and binding, without provisions that would get thrown out in family court. Secondly, your attorney is ready to help you fight for child custody when you do get divorced. We can help you build the best possible case, showing the court that you would be ready and able to provide a loving, stable home.

Schedule a Consultation

So if you have a family law question or you are going through a divorce yourself, know that you are not on your own. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark to schedule a consultation with our team. We would love to tell you more about how we can be of assistance.

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