So, you want the facts on prenuptial agreements? Well the good news is that you’ve come to the right place! At HelloPrenup, you could say we are a sort of a pioneer in the future of the prenuptials (prenup) writing industry. As prenups grow more popular (more on that below), we are thrilled to be the first on the market to offer a comprehensive online service solely dedicated to prenup writing. While there are a myriad of issues with traditional styles of writing prenups, and the heavy fees associated with the costly and time-consuming process, HelloPrenup enables a user-friendly experience at a low base price that guides you and your fiancé through the prenup writing process, identifying issues along the way, and prioritizing communication techniques to effectively resolve them.
So, why should you consider a prenup or utilizing the HelloPrenup services to begin with? Let us drop the facts so you can better understand the immense benefits behind these contracts.
Fact #1 – Prenups are on the upswing.
Especially amongst the millennial population, prenups are becoming increasingly popular (according to Business Insider). These contracts, which have long been stigmatized as an asset only needed by the rich and famous, are being signed with more frequency. Why is this? Well, according to the aforementioned Business Insider article, these legally binding contracts peak interest for those who may have witnessed their parents go through a divorce. Because of high divorce rates, many people sadly had to watch their parents (or friends’ parents, close relatives, etc.) battle it out in lengthy courtroom cases to protect their assets. It is only logical that after having grown up witnessing this, millennials are predisposed to wanting to protect their assets.
Fact #2 – People are getting married later… that means more prenups!
Yes, the median age of marriage in the U.S. is rising! Since 2005, the median age at which men and women married has jumped from 27 to 29.9 and 25.5 to 28.1 respectively, according to the US Census (Business Insider). So how does that influence prenups? Well, simply put, the longer that millennials wait to marry, the more time that they have to accumulate assets. The more independent assets a person has, it is only logical that they will want to take steps to protect those assets. After all, it’s not worth losing some or all of your earnings/savings if things go awry down the road!
Fact #3 – Couples who talk money are happier together – prenups can help.
No, seriously – it’s a thing! While 54% of those in “great” marriages regularly discuss money, only 29% of those in “okay” or “in crises” marriages discuss money regularly (source: Dave Ramsey). Yes, nobody necessarily loves to talk about money and the many hardships it can bring along, but it’s better to maintain a good relationship with it as opposed to pushing it all under the rug. Discussing things like expectations amongst one another, budgeting, and even salary and personality differences can provide massive benefits for your relationship. You may even be surprised at the sorts of money-related issues that could be harboring animosity between you and your partner.
Fact #4 – Prenups can do a lot, but not everything.
There is truly so much that a prenup can offer to you when it comes to protecting your future, whether it’s ensuring spousal support, debt, pre-marital property, marital property, inheritance, or something else, there is a myriad of things that you can customize within your prenup so that you and your partner draft the best possible agreement for your relationship. However, it is important to keep in mind that a prenup cannot do everything. For example, prenups cannot legislate anything about child support or custody – those aspects will always be left to the discretion of the court, in the interest of solidifying the best situation possible for the children involved.
Fact #5 – Prenups can be written with an “expiry” date.
Yes, you can in fact include an expiration date in your prenup. This is done via what is known as a sunset clause. Whatever your reasoning may be for wanting to include a 5, 10, 15 (or whatever) year expiration date on your contract, this is a relatively straightforward clause to include. Many people incorporate this sort of clause because they feel as though they may be able to settle a potential divorce once they have been together for that long, etc. You can learn more about the ins and outs of a sunset clause, as well as how they might help to benefit the spouse with fewer assets, in our blogs.
Fact #6 – Prenups stem from an old Hebrew doctrine.
The Hebrew culture also has over 2,000 years of history with their version of a marriage contract, referred to as a Ketubah. Specifically, the term ‘Ketubah’ means ‘it is written’ in Hebrew. It is estimated that Ketubahs are one one of the first legal documents that gave financial rights to women within a marriage. In fact, the Ketubah is as of now determined to be the first written instance of a document that ensured that a woman inherited her husband’s property if he died. A very early instance of women’s rights, indeed!
Fact #7 – A prenup must be considered “fair” to be enforceable.
So, what do we mean when we say “fair?” Each state has their own definition of “fair,” but in very general legal terms, “fair” basically means that the prenuptial agreement cannot be a product of coercion, there needs to be fair disclosure of assets (so both parties know what assets they are giving up access to), and the prenup cannot so deprive one party of financial resources that they end up needed aid from the state. An example of coercion would be if one person was pressured to sign the document immediately with a threat like calling off the wedding if this was not done. (However, courts have ruled that in some cases, the lack of significant time before a wedding does not rise to the level of coercion.) To be safe, both you and your fiancé should have a sufficient amount of time to review the prenuptial agreement. Additionally, make sure you have the opportunity to obtain legal advice before signing it. In many states, a prenuptial agreement must be fair at the time that it is entered into, and at the time that it is sought to be enforced. This is where the idea that the prenup cannot work to impoverish a spouse and make him or her reliant on public benefits in the future.
Fact #8 – It might be worthwhile to have legal counsel.
While you are not necessarily required to have legal counsel, most states will look at whether or not you or your future spouse had the simply had the opportunity to obtain legal advice. For example, they may take into consideration if there was enough time to find an attorney before the wedding. In addition, it is worth having an attorney review your prenuptial agreement with you, if you have questions. If your assets are in any way complex (ie significant family inheritance or business, etc). While traditionally this could be a very expensive endeavor, HelloPrenup offers an affordable prenup that you can easily bring to an attorney for advice on or, even revisions.
Fact #9 – There are some wild stories out there.
Seriously, though we are all about emphasizing how normal prenups have become, especially for the millennial generation, there are simultaneously many wacky stories regarding how (particularly famous) couples have included some strange clauses in their prenup agreements. If you want an interesting read or a bit of a pick-me-up, we have a blog all about this that you can read here.
Fact #10 – Prenups are simplified with HelloPrenup.
Yes, we touched on this early on in the post, but truly, HelloPrenup is bringing a new era to prenups as they are known. Rather than pay double the attorney fees for both you and your partner to be represented, HelloPrenup holds a flat rate that makes up the total cost between the couple. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has launched everything into the online sphere (whether things were ready to be launched that way or not), chances are you may feel more comfortable creating your prenup online, too. Learn about how the process works and get on your way to drafting a prenup to secure your future finances here.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].