Pre-nuptial Myths

Myth #1

There is a common belief that pre-nuptial agreements are only for the wealthy. This is false.

Pre-nuptial agreements are for ANYONE. They are enforced to provide protection to whatever a person deems valuable to them. More often than not, the reason for a pre-nuptial agreement is due to one partner being significantly wealthier than the other, but sometimes it doesn't come down to money. A person may not want to lose their dog, their favourite football shirt, or their CD collection in a divorce battle. It doesn't have to be over money. A pre-nup can benefit just about anyone.

What if you become rich in the future, your education, ideas and talents may one day become more valuable than they are today. You would need to think how you would go about handling the division of a business, inheritance, patents, books, songs or copyright in the event of a divorce.

Myth #2

Pre-nuptial agreements are only useful if your relationship breaks down. FALSE.

Just because you enforce a pre-nup it doesn't mean it will only benefit you should your relationship break down. Pre-nups are useful estate planning tools. Without a pre-nup, your spouse may be able to invalidate your carefully thought out estate plan. A pre-nup can be especially helpful if you have children from a previous marriage or have family heirlooms that you want to keep in the family.

By having a pre-nup in place, the marriage will benefit, as you will both be able to enjoy the relationship knowing you have your finances exactly how you want them.

Myth #3

Pre-nuptial agreements are unromantic. Wrong.

Pre-nuptial agreements are perceived as unromantic because people don't want to plan for something that a) might never happen b) they don't want to happen. Planning for what you would do if the relationship ended is not the nicest thing to think of, but it is realistic. It is the stronger relationships that are mature enough to discuss the realities in life that make pre-nuptial agreements favourable and give couples a deeper peace of mind and essentially a worry free relationship.

Pre-nuptial agreements do not mean you will split up; they are merely a safety measure put in place to protect both parties. In some instances, they are needed when a partner passes away and in this circumstance, the deceased will have planned where their finances go in the event of their death.

Myth #4

Pre-nuptial agreements won't be upheld by the courts. Wrong.

Although courts do occasionally invalidate pre-nups, these are ones that were developed without the help of attorneys, or pre-nups where there was coercion in getting one partner's signature. If you have a properly drafted pre-nup and there was no force, it is extremely likely that your pre-nuptial agreement will hold weight in a court of law.

Myth #5

Only men want pre-nuptial agreements. Wrong.

Pre-nuptial agreements give the couple an idea of each other's expectations of the relationship. There is no need for a Pre-nup to be biased towards any partner, for you both determine the rules that you will stand by should the relationship end. Pre-nuptial agreements are there for anyone to protect their assets. There is no evidence to suggest that only men want pre-nups, wealthy women such as Catherine Zeta Jones swear by them. Who wouldn't want security?

Myth #6

Pre-nuptial agreements are expensive. Wrong.

Compared to the cost of an average wedding or an average divorce, pre-nuptial agreements are reasonably priced. It is equivalent to buying insurance, a small one time cost for something you never hope to use, but by knowing it's there, will give you reassurance.

Myth #7

Pre-nuptial agreements are designed to simply protect the wealthier spouse and strip the other spouse of all of his or her rights.

Pre-nuptial agreements are designed to protect both spouses. Premarital agreements which are unequal or one sided will not be justified and held up in a court of law. The agreement must be fair.

The basic requirements for pre-nuptial agreements to be enforceable are: signing the agreement must be voluntary; it cannot in any way be unfair when it is signed and each party needs to make a full disclosure of their assets and debt

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