Myth #1 – Prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy. No. Prenuptial agreements are for ordinary people. Given the high legal fees and stress involved in a divorce, the frequency with which relationships end nowadays, as well as peoples’ increasing financial sophistication and independence, a prenuptial agreement can benefit just about everyone.
Myth #2 – Prenuptial agreements are only useful if your relationship breaks down. No. Prenuptial agreements can be useful estate planning tools. Without a prenup, your spouse may be able to invalidate your carefully thought out estate plan. A prenup can be especially helpful if you have children from a previous marriage or have family heirlooms that you want to keep in the family.
Myth #3 – Prenuptial agreements are unromantic. No. Being able to sit down and discuss with your partner both of your future financial plans and expectations for the relationship will lead to a more solid foundation for your relationship than simply expecting your love to take care of everything.
Myth #4 – Prenuptial agreements won’t be upheld by the courts. No. Although courts occasionally do invalidate prenups, these are normally ones prepared without the help of attorneys, or ones where there was coercion in getting one partner’s signature. If you have a properly drafted prenup, and there was no duress, it is likely that your prenuptial agreement will stand up in court.
Myth #5 – Only men want prenuptial agreements. No. Prenuptial agreements are a useful way of setting out your and your partner’s expectations for the relationship. There’s no need for a prenup to be biased in either partner’s favor. For instance, a woman may insist that if she is going to stay home and raise children, that her prenuptial agreement include provisions to compensate her for this interruption in her career through spousal support.
Myth #6 – Prenuptial agreements are expensive. No. Compared to the cost of an average wedding or an average divorce, prenuptial agreement are a bargain. The best way to think about it is like buying insurance: it’s a small one-time cost for something you never hope to use, but if you ever need it, you’ll be glad you have it, and it will save you a lot of money.
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