4 Myths You Will Hear About Prenups (That Aren’t True)

When you’re preparing for your wedding day, one of the things you’re probably least inclined to talk about with your fiancé(e) is how assets will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce. Your hesitation is understandable; after all, such a discussion is not exactly romantic. But it can add a reassuring level of transparency to your relationship and protect both of you in the event that something does happen.

Prenuptial agreements, prenups for short, are legal documents that couples draw up to address issues that could arise if they separate in the future. These issues may include:

  • Property division
  • Identification of separate vs. marital property
  • Spousal support
  • And possibly more

Despite the reassurances they offer, prenups have a negative reputation. The general misconception is that they set the stage for a future divorce. This is simply not true. Below is a list of four myths that your fiancé(e) and you are bound to hear about prenups and the truth regarding each one.

1. You only need a prenup if you’re rich.

This myth underscores the original (and outdated) purpose of the prenuptial agreement. At one time, wealthy individuals who became engaged to someone with fewer financial resources drew up an agreement to protect themselves from proverbial “gold diggers.” This is no longer the case.

While prenuptial agreements address finances, you don’t have to be wealthy to benefit from one. Any couple that owns assets together or individually can use a prenup to decide for themselves how the marital estate will be divided if divorce does occur. Otherwise, a judge may end up making that decision for you, with results that neither of you may be happy with.

2. Prenuptial agreements are a blueprint for divorce.

This perspective is taken by those who see prenups as negotiating the end of a marriage before it has even started. While such an assumption is understandable, the truth is that these agreements can actually make your relationship stronger. Your fiancé(e) and you can have a meaningful discussion about finances, provide for children from a prior relationship, and even taking care of each other. These conversations can clarify expectations and even dispel any privately-held assumptions.

3. Prenuptial agreements are only beneficial if you divorce.

While prenups address the outcome of divorce, they can also specify what will happen if one of you passes away. You can reinforce the terms of your will by stating (for example) that you want certain assets or the contents of a trust to go to your children from an earlier marriage. Prenups can even set out financial expectations for the marriage, such as how assets will be acquired and how much money will be contributed to college funds for the children.

4. Prenuptial agreements are not enforceable.

This one is definitely not true. Tennessee courts routinely uphold prenuptial agreements that are properly prepared and not signed under duress. If an agreement is prepared by an experienced Tennessee family law attorney, its chance of being found invalid later on are slim.

When you’re about to embark on an exciting new marriage, discussing a prenuptial agreement can get you both on the same page and keep you there. Think of it as like homeowner’s insurance: you may never need it (hopefully you won’t) but if the unthinkable happens, you’ll be glad you had it in place.

At McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC, we have extensive experience in both drafting Tennessee prenuptial agreements and reviewing agreements drawn up in the past. We are committed to ensuring that your prenup covers all matters important to you, and that you understand what you are agreeing to. To schedule a consultation, call (615) 669-6859 or complete our contact form today.

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McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC

McCracken Kuhn Marks PLLC was founded by Attorneys Joanna McCracken, Irwin Kuhn, and Demi Marks with the goal of approaching family law in a new and innovative manner.

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