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We Clear Up Common 9 Misunderstandings About Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool in ensuring your interests are protected no matter what life throws at you down the line.
So you’re getting married—congratulations! Amid the planning, flowers, love and romance, you need to consider this: What do you want to happen if this relationship were to fail? Do you want your future to be determined by the courts or would you prefer to answer that question now, saving you and your beloved future headaches?
It’s totally understandable that many couples are concerned about protecting their interests as they enter a marriage. After all, a marriage is a combination of assets, in addition to a commitment to a shared life. Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool in ensuring your interests are protected no matter what life throws at you down the line.
A prenup is a legal document that outlines basic rights and obligations for you and your spouse in the event of divorce. It can be an important tool in protecting your assets and finances—but a prenup can also help smooth the divorce process down the road. Having the right lawyer by your side when negotiating the prenuptial agreement is critical. Smedley Law Group can help you understand the practical implications of the agreement and make sure your rights are protected.
9 Misconceptions About Prenups
Many misconceptions surround prenuptial agreements, and it’s common for people to misunderstand their true meaning and purpose. If you find yourself wondering if a prenuptial agreement can benefit you and your spouse, continue reading for our clarifications on the most frequent misunderstandings we address with our clients.
1. Prenups are only necessary for “rich” couples.
Nope! Any couple can benefit from a prenup, no matter their income level or current financial situation. A prenup addresses potential money or asset disputes ahead of time, ultimately saving you stress, time, and money.
2. Prenups are designed to protect the spouse with more assets.
Again, nope. A prenuptial agreement is drafted to fairly protect both spouses and their assets. In fact, an agreement that only benefits one spouse isn’t likely to pass in court. For the spouse with fewer assets, this agreement can assure them of their financial situation in the unfortunate event of a divorce.
3. A prenup means that you don’t have a strong relationship.
Absolutely not! Many couples sign a prenuptial agreement in good times just to ensure how they’d handle assets in the sad event of a marriage dissolution. A prenup isn’t an indicator of the strength of your relationship or a sign that you’ll end up divorced. Rather, since you’re discussing financial matters ahead of time shows that you’re willing to talk and plan your successful future together.
4. A prenup isn’t legally binding.
Although the reasons behind the common misconception that co-signed prenuptial agreements aren’t legally binding remain unclear, we want to emphasize that they are, in fact, legally binding contracts, just like any other agreements you might sign.
5. A prenup doesn’t get enforced in court.
While there could be cases where a court doesn’t enforce a prenup, the majority of them are. If a prenup isn’t enforced, it’s usually because one spouse signed involuntarily, one spouse misrepresented their true financial position or that proper legal procedures weren’t followed when creating the prenup.
6. A prenup is very costly and time-consuming to create.
Nope! In most cases, prenups are affordable and straightforward. Considering the expenses associated with legal representation during a divorce without a prenuptial agreement, establishing this contract before marriage makes financial and practical sense.
7. You can’t change a prenup after you sign it.
Once again, nope! You and your spouse can change or modify a prenup at any time after you sign the agreement, provided that you both agree about the changes.
8. A prenup is only relevant if you get a divorce.
Many people think this document only comes into play if they split. Actually, a prenup can help you achieve different outcomes, including spelling out financial expectations or establishing an estate plan.
9. A prenup is only for people who’ve been married before.
Definitely not! As you’ve learned, a prenup can be useful for any couple entering into a marriage to protect their assets in the event of a divorce.
Consider a Prenup In These Situations
The primary benefit of a prenuptial agreement is that it can clarify expectations. When each party knows what to expect in the event of a divorce, it’s possible to avoid expensive and lengthy court proceedings if the parties do decide to divorce.
A prenuptial agreement can also be used to protect family assets, giving the family of the couple greater security in knowing that their assets won’t be jeopardized in a later divorce.While any couple should consider a prenup before marriage, there are some specific situations where the prenuptial agreement may be more valuable than others. Those include:
– One party owns a business that should be preserved in the event of divorce.
– One party has significantly more valuable assets than the other.
– There are second marriages and situations involving blended families where one party may wish to protect children from a prior marriage.
– One party anticipates receiving a large inheritance at some point in the future.
– One spouse has significant student loans or other debts.
– The parties are concerned about privacy and want to avoid extensive financial inquiries in the future.
A Prenup Is Designed to Protect Your Assets
A prenuptial agreement, when carried out correctly, is meant to protect and support both parties equally, making an unexpected split—and life thereafter—as smooth as possible. Since the court will strive to uphold the conditions of the prenup in a typical divorce case, it’s important to be transparent and specific with your wishes and concerns when writing your agreement. As always, it’s best to work with a family law attorney at Smedley Law Group to learn what’s possible and recommended in your particular scenario before signing a prenup.
Contact an Experienced Woodbury Prenuptial Agreement Attorney to Discuss Your Questions Today
The decision to get married is one of the most significant that most people make. It’s important to make sure you understand all aspects of the equation beforehand. Our trusted Woodbury, NJ prenuptial agreement attorneys at Smedley Law Group are here to help you find solutions that best suit your needs and goals. We’re Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys—a designation given by the New Jersey Supreme Court to reflect our expertise in family law matters. To learn more about how we can help with a prenuptial agreement, contact us today to arrange a consultation.