It is a tricky and sometimes uncomfortable subject for engaged couples to take on: the dreaded prenuptial agreement discussion. In bygone days, only the rich and famous even thought about premarital agreements, but in these modern times, more and more Americans are using such an agreement to protect themselves should divorce occur. However, it can be a confusing issue for those who are not accustomed to discussing financial topics.

Fortunately, the law offers plenty of help for those who are considering a prenuptial agreementand the first step is learning what you can include. Essentially, couples can include almost anything in such an agreement, but the most successful ones detail the following elements.

— Debt Protection: This element can protect either spouse from the other spouse’s debts. Without this element creditors can take marital property to pay for either spouse’s debt.– Family Property Protection: By specifying what will happen to family heirlooms or other family property, it is possible to make sure any family property one spouse or the other has going into a marriage stays with that person upon divorce.– Protection for Children Outside of the Marriage: If one or both spouses have children from a prior relationship, it’s a good idea to include instructions about what these children will receive in your prenup.

Now that you have some idea of what can go into a premarital agreement, it is time to learn what cannot. These items cannot be part of a prenuptial agreement.

— Illegal elements– Child custody and support decisions– Personal rather than financial elements– Provisions that might make divorce look prosperous

The best way to handle the task of creating a prenuptial agreement is to seek advice from a family law-focused attorney. He or she can not only advise you about what to include in a premarital agreement, but what you should not include as well.