Ta-da, you are now a fiancé! Congratulations on your engagement. Your partner finally put a “ring on it!” Your proposal was flawless, just as you had envisioned. Wedding season has arrived, and you and your partner are both preoccupied with the preparations (happy smile emoji.) Suddenly, your partner drops a bomb on you, or so you think; the word “prenup” is mentioned casually on your way to your cake tasting. Your heart sinks as your mouth opens, “A hmmm a pre…nup…” you stutter.
Many people associate the term “prenup” with discomfort and other negative emotions, and they are afraid of it. This, however, does not have to be the case. A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a written agreement or contract that a couple signs before getting married. Typically, a prenuptial agreement outlines each party’s assets, liabilities, and rights in case of a divorce or death. A prenup is sometimes called an antenuptial agreement or a premarital contract in the United States.
Additionally, if you and your soon-to-be spouse decide you do not want a prenup but then change your mind after getting married – no sweat, you can still enter into a similar contract, known as a post-nuptial agreement.
In this article, we will cover a few of the most common objections to prenuptial agreements and how you and your partner should honestly address them.
We encourage you to have this conversation with your partner; read on!
Negative Reaction: Prenups are only for the wealthy
Some people envision prenups not for everyone, just for rich people.
Addressing the truth: Prenuptial agreements are said to be exclusive to just the rich and famous, which is the most common misconception about them. In actuality, a prenup, which couples typically sign before getting married, specifies how the couple’s assets would be split in the event of a divorce. A prenup is something that everyone who has anything before getting married should consider. Prenups help everyone, not just the wealthy.
Wealthy families may want prenuptial agreements for their children to protect the wealth that they have accumulated over the years. Still, wealthy families are not the only potential candidates for prenups. Prenups are for everyone!
Negative Reaction: Prenups are for the dominant partner
Others suggest that the male partner uses a prenuptial agreement to protect his assets and assert control over a less financially secure woman.
Addressing the truth: Many people believe the myth that prenups are designed only to protect wealth and to ensure that a woman will be unable to take a man for all he is worth. Yet, in all honesty, they are created for countless reasons and have numerous advantages for both parties involved. Any individual assets such as debts, property, and children from a prior union may be in jeopardy when a marriage dissolves. Each party’s financial rights and obligations throughout the marriage and the division of assets in the event of not just a divorce but even death can be made clear via a prenuptial agreement.
Negative Reaction: Prenups can feel like a bad omen
Many people regard prenuptial agreements as a bad omen because they are associated with the belief that the soon-to-be-married couple is planning for divorce. By creating one, people say that you are sending a message that there is a possibility that your marriage will fall apart.
Addressing the truth: Couples can discuss their financial and marital expectations in detail using prenuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements are not bad luck, so you should not take offense if your partner requests one. Consider a prenup as an investment in insurance that may or may not be needed. Prenuptial agreements only come to play when your marriage dissolves. It isn’t a sign of bad luck.
Negative Reaction: Prenups are for those who don’t love each other
Addressing the truth: This is another common adverse reaction that other individuals may have about prenups. Couples who discuss prenups love each other as well. Before getting married, these individuals want to have a deeper understanding of one another’s wants, objectives, and concerns. Even though drafting a prenuptial agreement can occasionally result in a difficult discussion, it also offers the option to conduct these crucial conversations between couples about money, raising children, and other pertinent subjects before getting married.
This might be an excellent chance to get to know your spouse’s wants, drives, and worries before marriage. Agreeing with your partner can reveal many things you have in common and potential “dealbreakers” you want to know before you get married.
Negative Reaction: Prenups show a lack of trust between two people
Some people think prenups show a significant lack of trust between two people. “It’s as if both people need to protect themselves against any harm the other person might cause during the marriage.”
Addressing the truth: Prenups are sometimes interpreted as a lack of trust. However, it does not always signify a lack of trust when one individual request that a prospective spouse signs this document. Prenuptial agreements can protect both parties and potentially remove confusion.
Negative Reaction: A prenup shows planning for the end-game strategy – divorce!
Drawing up prenups is like knowing how the marriage will end; a prenup has already determined who will be the winner overall.
Addressing the truth: We all know that discussing divorce before marriage isn’t romantic. However, a conversation about prenups makes relationships healthier and more robust. Communication is the key to any good marriage, and a prenup will lead you to discuss challenging topics. If you get comfortable talking about the uncomfortable with your future spouse, your relationship will be stronger.
Negative Reaction: Prenups cost a fortune
Addressing the truth: According to marriage dot com, most prenups fall in the range of 2,500 – 5,000 dollars, depending on your location. If you go to the top five entertainment–based lawyers, prenups can cost you 10,000 dollars or more.
Preventing the emotional and financial costs of litigation uncertainty is one of a prenup’s key goals. One misconception regarding prenups is that they are expensive.
Though prenups require you and your partner to discuss a potential divorce, they don’t need to signal a lack of faith in your relationship. Prenuptial agreements are valuable tools even if you and your partner are both young and won’t bring much money into the marriage. They can even be helpful if you never divorce at all!
A prenup forces partners to discuss money.
Couples divorce for many reasons, from infidelity to lack of communication and respect. However, stress and disagreements about money are the highest on the list.
A conversation on a prenup forces the couple to talk about money before marriage, thus making a prenup a great idea, instead of discussing the color of your wedding napkins (which is a fun conversation to have, by the way), talk about your finances.
Here are some topics we suggest you discuss with your partner when discussing a prenuptial agreement.
- Credit and Debt
- Planning for retirement
- Working versus being at home with the children
- College Savings
- Owning real estate property versus renting
- Payment of expenses
“If your relationship is not at a place where you can have awkward but healthy conversations about finances, diving into prenup negotiations can be like tinder to a fire,” says a relationship expert.
You and your partner must be comfortable talking about everything, especially before marriage!
Ready to Create Your Prenup?
HelloPrenup is the premier platform for creating prenuptial agreements online; through a collaborative questionnaire, you and your partner can enter marriage with complete financial and emotional peace of mind. For just $599 per couple, you can create a fast, easy, and affordable prenup from the comfort of your own home! Ready to get started!
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]