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Everything You Think You Know About Prenuptial Agreements Is Wrong

“A prenuptial agreement? That means he’s already planning to cheat on you!”

“Nothing kills the love in a new marriage faster than a prenup.”

“Any man who asks his fiancée to sign a prenup is going to use it to control her afterward.”

It seems as if all your friends have strong opinions about prenuptial agreements (even though they may not even know anyone whose marriage has a prenup). Misunderstandings further confuse the issue. The legitimate values of having a prenuptial agreement are often buried beneath misconceptions and myth. To contend with such misleading myths, we’ve cut them down to size for you:

Myth #1: Prenuptial agreements are only for the rich

Divorce is often expensive and stressful, and considering divorce rates these days, as well as peoples’ increasingly complicated financial circumstances, a prenup can be of benefit to just about everyone.

Myth #2: Prenuptial agreements are only useful if your relationship breaks down

Prenuptial agreements can be effective estate planning tools. Without a prenup, your spouse may be able to buck your carefully calculated estate plan. A prenup can be especially helpful if you have children from a previous marriage or any family heirlooms to be kept in the family.

Myth #3: Prenuptial agreements kill the romance

Being able to sit down and discuss your future financial plans with your partner and your expectations for your relationship together will actually lead to a more trusting and solid foundation than either of you simply hoping your love will take care of everything.

Myth #4: Prenuptial agreements won’t be upheld by the courts

Courts do sometimes invalidate prenups, but it usually happens only to contracts prepared without the help of a lawyer, or for prenups involving coercion used to get a partner’s signature. As long as your prenup was properly drafted with the help of a qualified attorney and there was no duress involved, your prenuptial agreement will likely stand up in court.

Myth #5: Only men want prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are a useful way of setting up you 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. That would only be fair.

Myth #6: Prenuptial agreements are expensive

A prenup is a bargain, compared to the average cost of a wedding or a divorce. Think of it this way: It’s a lot like buying a warranty plan. How? Ultimately, a prenup is a small one-time cost for something you do not plan on using, nor do you ever hope to, but in the event things don’t go as planned, you’ll be happy you had it. A prenup will save you a lot of money.

This One’s True: Not Every Marriage Requires a Prenup

When partners come to a marriage with limited financial means and expectations, when they are similar ages, and when they are sure they have identical goals for the future, they probably do not require a prenuptial contract.

On the other hand, if the partners enter wedlock with any type of unequal status, both sides can benefit from the legal assurances given in a prenuptial agreement. Overall, drafting a prenup is a solid choice as part of anyone’s marital preparations. A prenup’s primary purpose is simply to protect you and the one you love from future heartache and any unfair treatment in the event things don’t work out. What’s wrong with that?

Contact the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan today to discuss prenuptial agreements and to have one created for you and your future spouse.

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