We're Here For You

What you cannot include in your prenup

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Family Law |

Prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, are valuable legal documents that help people define financial boundaries and protect their assets before they get married.

While these agreements serve an important purpose and can cover various aspects of a couple’s financial future, there are specific things that North Carolina law prohibits from including (or deems invalid) in a prenuptial agreement.

Child custody and support provisions

North Carolina courts prioritize the best interests of the child in the event of divorce.

Therefore, a couple cannot make determinations about child custody and support in the prenuptial agreement, no matter how they phrase it.

Promoting or encouraging divorce

Any provision that encourages divorce is not valid in a North Carolina prenup.

The state believes that these agreements should aim to protect both parties’ interests without undermining the integrity of their marriage.

Personal matters

Here is where it can get tricky because the laws that govern prenups are different in every state.

In North Carolina, a prenuptial agreement cannot address personal matters like stipulations regarding household chores or parenting responsibilities.

Illegal or unconscionable clauses

This encompasses anything that is grossly unfair to a party. In addition, both parties must sign the prenuptial agreement freely and never under duress or without proper disclosure of assets.

North Carolina law requires that the parties signing a prenup understand what they are signing and that they voluntarily enter into the agreement.


A person cannot waive alimony in a way that leaves the other person in significant hardship. While a valid prenup can include terms for alimony, the court is not likely to enforce clauses that are grossly unfair or result in one spouse facing undue financial hardship.

While prenups are powerful and helpful tools for financial planning, they are limited in scope, and people should understand that just because they include a clause in a prenuptial agreement, it does not make that clause valid under the law. Ultimately, it is the court’s work to determine what is and is not legal.