5 Common Misconceptions About Prenups

Think prenups are just for the rich and famous? Think again. In this article we debunk some common misconceptions about prenups.

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Hey there, lovebirds! So, you’re getting ready to tie the knot, huh? Well, congrats! But before you stroll down that aisle and say your "I do's", have you ever considered a prenup?

Prenuptial agreements, or prenups for short, often get a bad rap. They're like the broccoli of the wedding world—no one really wants to think about them, but they might just be good for you! Let's debunk some common misconceptions about prenups so you can make an informed decision for your happily ever after.

1. "Prenups are only for the rich and famous."

Sure, you’ve heard about Hollywood celebs and their million-dollar prenups, but did you know that prenups can benefit couples of all income levels? According to legal experts, prenups can help protect assets like savings accounts, retirement funds, and even family heirlooms. As journalist Michael Waters wrote in his 2022 piece for The New Yorker: “Prenups aren’t just for rich people anymore.” (source)

2. "Prenups are unromantic and a sign of distrust."

Au contraire! Think of a prenup as an insurance policy for your marriage—not because you expect it to fail, but because you want to protect each other in case of the unexpected. Financial expert Suze Orman says: “If you cannot talk money to the person that you are about to marry, you are doomed for failure because money is going to run through your relationship more than anything else.” (source)

3. "Prenups are only necessary if you're planning to divorce."

In a research study conducted by Heather Mahar, a fellow at the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business at Harvard Law School, and 2002 graduate of Harvard Law, “62 percent of those surveyed thought that requesting a prenuptial agreement sends a negative signal about the future of the marriage.” (source)

While no one likes to think about the possibility of divorce, the truth is that life is unpredictable. From career changes to inheritance, there are many scenarios where a prenup can provide clarity and protection for both parties. Having a prenup in place can streamline the divorce process and save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

4. "Prenups are one-size-fits-all documents."

Not quite! Every couple is unique, and your prenup should reflect that. Whether you want to outline financial responsibilities, address potential alimony issues, or protect your business interests, a customized prenup can be tailored to meet your specific needs and concerns. Attorney Theresa Viera, a lawyer based in North Carolina, cautions: “When you approach negotiating a prenuptial agreement, you are negotiating a legally binding contract," says Viera. "And so you want to know what your legal rights are first and have a clear understanding of that.” (source)

5. "Prenups are only valid in certain states."

Actually, prenups are recognized in all 50 states, but the laws governing them can vary. In California, where our startup First operates, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) applies to prenups, setting forth guidelines for enforceability. It's important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who understands the intricacies of California family law to ensure that your prenup meets all legal requirements. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

So there you have it, folks. Whether you’re a high-flying CEO or a starry-eyed romantic, a prenup can provide peace of mind and protection for you and your partner as you embark on this exciting journey together. At First, we believe that love is grand, but a well-crafted prenup is just plain smart.