Parties to a marriage contract cannot waive their obligations to provide support for their own children. However, if your spouse has brought children from a previous relationship into the marriage, you may wish to consider a provision in your marriage contract (assuming you have one – and this may provide an incentive to enter into one) that specifies that “under no circumstances will you stand in place of a parent to these children and will not be required to pay child support to them in the event of the breakdown of your marriage. ” The reason for this is that you don’t have to be a biological parent in order to be required to pay child support. As long as you have treated the children as your own (or stood in place of a parent), you may end up being required to support them.
As with all marriage contracts, the parties must receive independent legal advice. It is very important that each spouse receive this advice in a language which they can understand and which permits them to both receive a full explanation of the effects of the terms of the agreement, and to ask questions about the agreement.
This is especially important if any rights or obligations are waived in the agreement.
- While parties cannot contract out of the responsibility to support their own children, they can agree on support obligations for children brought into the marriage from a previous relationship.
- Both parties should receive independent legal advice, in a language that allows them to appreciate the meaning of the terms of the contract.
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