Can Child Custody Be Addressed in a Prenuptial?
When a couple decides to get married, they may also consider creating a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup,” to determine how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. However, some couples may wonder if child custody can also be addressed in a prenup. In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to that question.
The Legal Framework for Child Custody
In the UK, prenuptial agreements are not legally binding, but they are becoming increasingly popular as a way for couples to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. However, child custody is a different matter, as it is governed by the Children Act 1989, which sets out the legal framework for how custody is decided.
The Importance of the Child’s Best Interests
The Children Act 1989 places the child’s best interests at the heart of any decisions made about custody, and any agreement that is contrary to the child’s best interests will not be enforceable. This means that any provisions in a prenup that relate to child custody will not be legally binding, as the court will always make decisions based on what is best for the child.
Addressing Co-Parenting in a Prenup
However, that does not mean that child custody cannot be addressed in a prenup. Couples may still include provisions that outline how they intend to co-parent their children in the event of a divorce. For example, they may agree to share custody equally, or one parent may agree to have primary custody while the other parent has regular visitation rights.
The Importance of the Child’s Best Interests (Part 2)
While these provisions may not be legally binding, they can still be useful in guiding discussions about co-parenting and helping to prevent disputes from arising in the future. It’s important to note that any agreements made in a prenup about child custody must always be made with the child’s best interests in mind.
Addressing Child Support in a Prenup
In addition to child custody, couples may also include provisions in a prenup that relate to child support. While child support is also determined by the Children Act 1989, a prenup can set out how much support will be paid and for how long. However, any provisions in a prenup about child support must also be made with the child’s best interests in mind, and the court will always have the final say on the matter.
Seeking Legal Advice
In summary, child custody cannot be legally binding in a prenup as the court will always make decisions based on what is best for the child. However, couples can still include provisions in a prenup that relate to how they intend to co-parent their children in the event of a divorce, as long as these provisions are made with the child’s best interests in mind.
If you are considering a prenup and have questions about how to address child custody or support, it’s important to seek the advice of a family law solicitor. At Chartlands Cahmbers our family law specialists can help you understand your options and ensure that any agreements you make are in line with the law and in the best interests of you and your family for more information get in touch and one of our experts will happily answer any questions you may have.
- The Children Act 1989: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/contents
- Prenuptial agreements and children: https://www.familylaw.co.uk/news_and_comment/prenuptial-agreements-and-children-what-s-the-score
- Child custody and prenuptial agreements: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflanders/2011/06/14/child-custody-and-prenuptial-agreements/?sh