Dispelling Some Common Myths About Prenuptial Agreements

This article addresses three of the most common myths surrounding prenuptial agreements.

Most couples would rather not prepare for their wedding by talking about what will happen to their assets if their marriage ends in divorce. Such discussions, however unromantic they may be, are nonetheless important to have for two people preparing for marriage. In fact, while most couples who are about to tie the knot could greatly benefit from a prenuptial agreement, many couples fail to discuss such an agreement due to a variety of myths and misconceptions about what prenuptial agreements are and who they are for. Below is a brief look at some of the most common prenuptial agreement myths.

"Prenups are only for the wealthy"

This myth may have been true once, but nowadays prenuptial agreements make sense for just about any marriage. As the Wall Street Journal notes, any couple that has assets or is expecting an inheritance should get a prenuptial agreement. Such an agreement will allow those who are getting married to decide for themselves how their marital estate is ultimately divided, instead of leaving such a decision in the hands of a judge who may have a very limited understanding of the dynamics behind that couple's marriage. Such control can benefit any couple, not matter how wealthy they are.

"Prenups are a sign of distrust"

One of the most persistent myths about prenuptial agreements is that they indicate that one spouse is distrustful of the other spouse or is somehow less than fully committed to the marriage. As USA Today notes, however, going through the process of creating a prenuptial agreement could actually increase the trust and commitment two soon-to-be spouses feel towards one another. Because money arguments are a significant factor in many divorces, being upfront and clear about one's finances early on allows both spouses to be realistic about their combined finances when entering a marriage. In contrast, leaving financial discussions until after the wedding date could lead to some unwanted surprises and unpleasant discussions.

"Prenups are only about money"

While it is true that prenuptial agreements are usually used to clarify how assets will be divided if a marriage ends, they are not limited to assets alone. Prenuptial agreements can clarify a number of issues that could arise during a divorce, including spousal support, credit card debt, child-related expenses, and dividing up responsibilities for caring for any aging parents. A well-drafted prenuptial agreement, in other words, can reduce a lot of the stress and worry that may otherwise arise in the future.

For anybody who is about to embark on a new marriage, talking about a prenuptial agreement should be a high priority. While discussing prenuptial agreements can be difficult, it is important to realize that such discussions are important for protecting one's future, as well as the future of one's family. A qualified family law attorney can assist anybody who has questions or concerns about prenuptial agreements and can also help draft an agreement that has the best chance of ultimately being held up in court.