Three Dangerous Myths About Prenups

Written by Christi Hayes and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

With so many marriages ending in divorce, it is no surprise that more couples are opting for prenuptial agreements, or prenups, before their wedding days. A prenup is a legal document that sets out how important issues, such as property division and spousal support, will be divided in case the marriage ends in divorce or one of the spouses dies. While prenups allow couples to take control of their financial futures, these agreements also tend to provoke a lot of debate, primarily due to the amount of misinformation surrounding them. Below is a look at just three commonly believed myths pertaining to prenuptial agreements.

Prenups will lead to divorce

Far too many people think that having a prenup is an indication that a marriage is in trouble before it even begins. However, the fact is that there is no link between prenups and divorce. Most courts will even invalidate a prenuptial agreement if one party can show that the agreement was only agreed to by the other party because he or she intended for the marriage to end in divorce. In many cases, because a prenup requires a couple to talk candidly about finances and their expectations for the future, it can actually lead to a stronger marriage.

Prenups are only for the rich

While anybody who is bringing a large number of assets into a marriage can certainly benefit from a prenup, it is not true that prenups are only useful for high-wealth couples. Prenups allow all couples to decide for themselves how major issues, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support, will be decided. Without a prenup, those issues may end up being decided by a judge who has only limited knowledge of the couple's unique circumstances.

Prenups are unenforceable

Prenuptial agreements are legally enforceable documents and, so long as they abide by established legal requirements, they will be upheld by most courts. However, a prenup that was written under duress or which involves elements of fraud can be challenged. Additionally, a prenup that was written without the assistance of an attorney has a greater chance of running into problems in the future. Generally speaking, however, a well-written prenup that abides by legal standards set down for premarital agreements has a good chance of being held up in court.

Prenups may not sound like the most romantic topic of conversation when a wedding is on the horizon, but that doesn't mean that those who are soon to be married should ignore the benefits that prenups provide. In fact, a prenup can help many couples going into a marriage take greater control of their finances and enjoy a better idea of what they can expect from one another in the future.

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