Prenuptial agreements don’t have the best reputation. When you’re getting married, the last thing you want to do is discuss who gets the house and the cat if you divorce. It’s unromantic, it puts a damper on your celebratory mood, and when you sign a prenup, you’re essentially saying that you don’t trust each other. Right?
Not exactly. While a prenuptial agreement covers matters that require addressing if the marriage ends, they aren’t blueprints for divorce. Instead, they’re like life insurance policies: you hope you’ll never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have one.
Below is a list of common myths about prenuptial agreements and why each one has no basis in reality.
1. You only need a prenup if you’re rich.
This misconception may have been true at one time when wealthy families were concerned about potential gold-diggers. Today, any couple with assets can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. These documents allow you and your future spouse to decide how your marital estate will be divided if the relationship ends, not a judge who doesn’t know either of you.
2. Signing a prenup means you don’t trust each other.
This myth is especially persistent. It claims that if you have to make a divorce plan, you don’t trust each other and aren’t fully committed to the marriage. The truth is that creating a prenuptial agreement can deepen the trust between you because it calls for total honesty about your respective finances and assets. Both of you know exactly what you’re getting into concerning marital finances, and when you sign the document, you’re saying, “I love you just the way you are.”
3. Prenups are only about money.
This one is partly true. Prenuptial agreements do specify how assets will be divided if you divorce or separate, but that’s not all. They can also address spousal and child support, division of marital debt, provisions for children from previous relationships, and other issues that come up if the relationship ends. Coming to an agreement in advance, when you are both calm and level-headed, will eliminate the stress of trying to make arrangements when you’re in the midst of a difficult and emotional time.
4. Prenups signal a future divorce
Making arrangements for the end of your marriage before you’ve even said “I do” is not the most romantic notion, but like we have pointed out already, putting an agreement together beforehand can make your relationship even stronger. You have to speak frankly and meaningfully about finances, care for children from earlier relationships, and other important matters. Once the agreement is signed, you can focus on building your life together.
5. Prenups are not enforceable
Any prenuptial agreement that is fair in scope and has been prepared correctly is likely to be upheld by Florida courts. If you work with an experienced Florida family law attorney, the agreement is not likely to contain any clauses or stipulations that render the entire document invalid or unenforceable.
While discussing prenuptial agreements may be difficult, having one in place can protect your future individually and as a couple. If you are thinking about putting one together, Jarbath Pena Law Group can answer your questions, address any concerns, and draft an agreement that is fair, equitable, and starts your marriage on a positive and cooperative note. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us.