Before walking down the aisle, some couples enter into a contract known as a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements allow the future bride and groom to decide beforehand how their assets will be divided should they ever go through a divorce. While this can be advantageous for various reasons, there are some matters that should not be addressed in a prenuptial agreement, and one of them is child custody.
Enforceability of Child Custody Provisions In Prenuptial Agreements
Who should be able to have custody of a child is an important question and not one taken lightly by the courts in Iowa? It is also a question that should be raised when the parents separate, and not at a time prior to that. If parents include a provision in a prenuptial agreement that pre-determines who will have custody of their child(ren) should they separate or divorce at any time in the future, the provision will not be enforceable. The best interest of the child(ren) is always paramount in child custody agreements, and Iowa courts maintain that it is impossible to determine who the best choice for custody will be at some arbitrary future date.
Another issue that is not able to be determined in a prenuptial agreement is child support. Child support does not belong to either parent. It exists for the child, and it cannot be determined in a prenuptial agreement.
Iowa & the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA)
The UPAA is an act adopted by multiple states that were enacted to provide consistency, uniformity, and predictability among different states. Iowa is one of the states that adopted the UPAA, which sets forth rules that must be followed for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, including that child custody and child support cannot be contracted upon in a prenuptial agreement. Other rules from the UPAA include:
- Iowa prenuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties
- If there are other documents that must be executed to carry out the terms of the prenuptial agreement, both parties must sign those as well
- Both parties must have had the opportunity to have the agreement reviewed by their attorney before signing
Consult With An Iowa Child Custody Attorney
Children are our most treasured possessions, and the last thing any parent wants is to lose custody of their child in a divorce. If you are in need of guidance or representation for any child custody-related matters, take the time to meet with a lawyer at Simpson Legal Group, LLC. We are legal professionals that you can depend on, to be honest with you regarding your options and how best to preserve your relationship with your child(ren). Call us at 712-256-9899 or reach out via our contact page.