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Debunking Common Prenuptial Agreement Myths

Thu 17th Aug, 2023 Family Law

Prenuptial agreements are contracts entered into before marriage that can be used to set expectations during the marriage and establish how property and debts will be divided upon divorce. While that sounds simple enough, many myths have arisen about prenuptial agreements, leading many prospective married couples to forego them altogether. Not every couple needs a prenuptial agreement, but writing them off without proper consideration would be a mistake for every couple. If you’re curious about a prenuptial agreement, our Stockton prenuptial agreement attorneys can help you decide if one is right for you. 

Only the Wealthy Need Prenuptial Agreements

This is perhaps the most common and pernicious myth about prenups. While it’s true that prenuptial agreements can be more important in high-stakes, high-asset divorces, couples of all income levels can benefit from them. For example, many couples use them to establish how the marital finances will be managed and how debts will be apportioned in property division upon divorce. They can also be used to clearly and explicitly define separate property and marital property no matter the property’s value. 

Prenuptial Agreements Indicate Distrust and Encourage Divorce 

Many couples view prenuptial agreements with suspicion, with the most common accusation against them being that they are a tool to lay the groundwork for divorce before a couple is even married. While prenuptial agreements are frequently invoked during divorce, they do not “lay the groundwork” for it. They are also not set in stone — if circumstances change, couples can make amendments to their prenuptial agreements at any time. 

Prenuptial Agreements Only Protect the Richer Spouse

A common misconception about prenuptial agreements is that they are used by the wealthier spouse to protect their assets from the poorer spouse and avoid alimony. In reality, prenuptial agreements protect the finances of both spouses. For example, if the wealthier spouse accrues significant debts during the marriage, a prenuptial agreement can shield the poorer spouse from having to pay off a portion of that debt after a divorce. 

Prenuptial Agreements Only Benefit the Spouse Who Creates the Agreement 

Prenuptial agreements are not one-sided. Both parties to the agreement have the opportunity to disclose their assets to the other party and negotiate the terms of the agreement. Furthermore, courts generally refuse to enforce prenuptial agreements that are unconscionably one-sided.  

Prenuptial Agreements Are Only Relevant During Divorce 

Prenuptial agreements are versatile instruments that allow couples to accomplish a variety of goals. For example, should the couple divorce, a prenuptial agreement can significantly ease property division and alimony negotiations. And even if the couple does not divorce, a prenuptial agreement can set expectations during the marriage, including how finances are to be managed. 

Speak With Our Stockton Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys About Whether a Prenuptial Agreement Is Right for You

Some couples may benefit from a prenuptial agreement more than others. But you won’t know whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you until you speak with an experienced attorney. For more information, contact the Stockton prenuptial agreement attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau by using our online form or calling us at 209-477-8171.

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