Prenuptial agreements have often been represented as “weapons” that spouses use in a bitter divorce, pessimistic, “worst-case-scenarios” that seem to say that a marriage …
Prenuptial agreements have often been represented as “weapons” that spouses use in a bitter divorce, pessimistic, “worst-case-scenarios” that seem to say that a marriage is doomed from the start. Not true.
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 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 #3 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 #4 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 is 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 #5 Prenuptial agreements are expensive. No. 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.
Myth #6 Even if we divorce, I’m Sure It Will Be Amicable. No. Even the most loving marriages can end badly. There’s just no way to know. A well-drafted prenuptial agreement will help ensure that there are no emotionally and financially draining court battles in the future on the issues covered in the prenup.
Myth #7 Neither of Us Has a Lot of Assets. No. Hopefully, your future will be filled with success - individually and collectively. If only one party thrives in the marriage, however, those assets may be “up for grabs” in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that each party keeps what he/she has earned.
Myth #8 We’re Not Going to Ever Get Divorced. No. Sadly, as divorce statistics demonstrate, many “happily ever afters” turn out quite differently. There’s no such thing as 20/20 clairvoyance, so having an “insurance policy” is simply wise and prudent.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
“Chocolate makes your clothes shrink.”
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