Addressing the Common Premarital Agreement Myths

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Premarital agreements are a touchy subject for many, but they are becoming increasingly common as couples of all ages, sexual preference and income brackets continue to join in holy matrimony. Indeed, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 63% of divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an increase in prenuptial agreements since 2010. What’s more, 46% noted an increase in the number of women initiating requests for prenups which may be because women are earning more money and acquiring wealth. As the  economy improve and as the financial and real estate markets continue to recover, more people will be seeking to protect their wealth through premarital agreements.

According to the AAML, the three items mostly commonly covered in prenups are the protection of separate property, spousal support, and the division of property.

Even though a premarital agreement can eliminate uncertainties in money matters and protect parties from future litigation (as well as fights over who gets to keep the beloved pet dog), prenups still get a bad rap and the negative associations with signing a premarital agreement are many. The book Prenups for Lovers lists several of the common myths surrounding prenups. These myths include:

  • A prenup jinxes the marriage.
  • The better off party takes advantage of the less well off party. It’s not fair!
  • Prenups are bad for women.
  • A prenup reduces marriage to a cold business deal.
  • A prenup makes it too easy to divorce
  • A prenup is expensive.
  • Prenups are only for the glamorati.
  • If I bring up a prenup, my intended will be hurt, offended or insulted (read more on how to deal with that here).
  • A prenup says, “I don’t love you, I don’t trust you.”
  • My intended and I know each other very well and have worked out our issues verbally. We don’t need it in writing.
  • I don’t need a prenup because I plan to live with my significant other, rather than marry him/her.
  • A prenup says, “Don’t touch my money.”
  • Prenups are not for young people just starting out.
  • A prenup is unnecessary because our legal system takes care of these matters in the event of divorce or death.
  • A prenup is useless because it can’t possibly anticipate what may happen in a marriage.

To further demystify the concept of a premarital agreement, and to discuss drafting an airtight prenup before you get married, contact the expert family lawyers at Walzer Melcher LLP today.