Many individuals in Arizona choose to use a prenuptial agreement to outline specifics of a marriage and what should happen if the two parties end up getting divorced. It is important to remember that every state has their own individual laws about what constitutes marital property and separate property.  Many have adopted some variation of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

Having the ground work laid for how certain issues will be handled can eliminate confusion in the future. It may also ignite an important financial conversation between the two parties about to get married. A prenuptial agreement can be a powerful planning tool but only if you include the right information inside of it. Read on to learn more about what cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement as well as some things you should include.

A prenuptial agreement cannot include any provisions outlining anything illegal. Any decisions related to child custody (now known as “legal decision-making authority” in Arizona) or child support, or any kind of provisions that seem to offer a financial incentive to get divorced which Courts have held violate public policy. While you may be able to include these in your prenuptial agreement, it is likely that the document can be ruled invalid down the line thus rendering, in some instances,all provisions inside the document as invalid. This is why it is so important to have a document that is completely legal without any of the negative provisions that could raise the eyebrows of a judge.

One of the most commonly contested provisions in the Court, for example, is the waiver of the right to spousal maintenance.  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the drafting and execution of the Premarital Agreement, it may be argued that the spouse who may have otherwise been entitled to maintenance did not give up their rights knowingly or voluntarily.  There may also be restrictions on such a waiver based on local law.

There are several different things that should be included in your prenuptial agreement.This includes details about how to provide for children from previous relationships, how to protect the new spouse from the other spouses’ debts, and how to make a separation between marital and separate property. Additionally, your prenuptial agreement can also help to protect your estate plan when it is drafted properly. Make sure that you consult directly with an Arizona family lawyer and that each party to the prenuptial agreement has an attorney present to increase the chances that this document will be ruled valid down the line, should that become necessary.            


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What Can and Cannot Be Included In A Prenuptial Agreement, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.