Let’s face it, prenups have a bad rep. The very idea that a couple would interrupt their pre-marital bliss to discuss finances and “what-ifs” seems reprehensible. After all, who would want to take a break from wedding cake tastings and dress shopping to talk about money? More importantly, who would want to risk an argument in a time of such harmony?
Well, it’s time to break up a few misconceptions about prenups (also known as premarital or prenuptial agreements). Here are four common things people think, and are wrong about, when it comes to prenups:
- Common misconception #1: Prenups are awkward and start arguments. When has having an open and honest conversation ever been awkward with your partner? Most couples feel closer and more connected after intimate discussions. Prenuptial agreements give you and your partner the opportunity to share your thoughts on money, your expectations about the future, and your financial responsibilities. Ask yourself this – wouldn’t you rather know where your partner stands before entering into a lifelong commitment to each other?
- Common misconception #2: Prenups are only for rich people. Whether you have ten dollars or ten million dollars in your name, a prenup is right for you. You never know what may happen down the line. You might accumulate a large amount of assets during the marriage, and your partner may or may not. Regardless, the question you should ask yourself is, “Do I want to be in charge of my own financial responsibilities or do I want to let a judge make decisions for me?” If you like to play it safe, then prenups are for you.
- Common misconception #3: Prenups are only for couples that think they’re going to get divorced. For some reason, we tend to associate prenups with divorce. We think it’s more romantic when we hear a couple say, “We didn’t get a prenup because we plan to be married forever.” Well, shoot, doesn’t everyone who takes marriage seriously and takes vows in a ceremony in front of all their friends and family plan to be married forever? Of course. No one plans divorce, and no one ever considers the worst-case scenario, especially in a time of such joy, love, and excitement. Creating a premarital agreement is creating a plan, just as you do in other areas of your life – if you can plan a wedding, you can certainly plan your future finances.
- Common misconception #4: Prenups are expensive. Prenups aren’t as expensive as you might imagine. You each need to have your own attorneys review the agreement, but you don’t need to be charged high rates to come up with the agreement. You can meet with an attorney mediator who can walk you through necessary issues and help you iron out any differences. From there, your mediator will help you come up with an agreement at a lower cost, and then you simply have your respective attorneys review and finalize it.