Prenuptial Agreements on the Rise: Part 2

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Divorce on Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In the first part of the series titled Prenuptial Agreements on the Rise, we talked about how more and more people have begun requesting that their attorney draft a prenuptial agreement. Although more people are utilizing the legal document, many average Americans, including some St. Louis residents have misconceptions about what a prenuptial agreement really is and for whom it can be useful. A prenuptial agreement may not seem accessible for a lot of individuals who are contemplating getting married.

Hollywood’s dramatic relationships reported in the news and movie plots viewed across the nation have helped create a number of myths about prenuptial agreements that simply are not true.

Myth #1: Prenuptial agreements are only for the wealthy. Whether you make $20,000 or $20 million per year, your financial future is important. In fact, sometimes those who make less annually are actually in greater need of protection when there is not a lot of wealth to spare in the event of a divorce.

Myth #2: Prenuptial agreements protect only monetary interests. Prenuptial agreements can be used to protect non-monetary interests such as family value. A cabin, a family business or a great-grandmother’s diamond ring are often hotly contested assets because a family may not want an unrelated ex-spouse to obtain a future share or claim to the asset.

Myth #3: Prenuptial agreements only help one spouse and harm the other. The terms of a prenuptial agreement can be drafted in a variety of ways and can protect both partners’ interests or even be used as a way to ensure that both individuals are sufficiently cared for after a divorce.

Myth #4: Prenuptial agreements can be used to hide assets. In order for an agreement to be legally binding, the law requires that both partners fully disclose every asset, interest and liability so that each spouse is wholly informed of and aware of the situation.

Myth #5: Signing a prenuptial agreement means you are not truly in love. Some people are immediately turned away from a prenuptial agreement because they see it as a way of saying “we are going to get divorced.” But liken a prenuptial agreement to estate planning; even where you plan to live until old age, most people still draft a will that covers a premature death. A prenuptial agreement forces a couple to face important issues that could arise in their future and protects them from the “what if” scenario.

Source: Star Tribune “More couples saying ‘I do’ to prenups” Ana Lense Larrauri 10/27/10

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