Why are prenups controversial?

Premarital agreements have a bad rap, but the truth is, they’re really just misunderstood.

Premarital agreements have a bad rap, but the truth is, they’re really just misunderstood. Here are just a few of the biggest misconceptions around prenups, and some modern takes to consider instead.

The misconception: Prenups are unromantic

Some people view prenups as unromantic, distrustful, or even offensive, since prenups involve planning for the potential end of a marriage before it even begins. For some, the idea of entering into a marriage with a prenup in place can feel like a lack of commitment to the relationship.

Another take: Prenups are an act of intimacy

Going through the prenup process requires honesty, transparency and communication. Most couples feel closer after going through the prenup experience, and feel far more aligned about their financial future than they would have been, had they chosen to not get a prenup. So while it’s not as romantic as trying on rings or writing your vows, working on a prenup that you both feel good about will lead to a greater sense of closeness—which is its own kind of romance.

The misconception: Prenups create a power imbalance

Some believe prenups can be seen as favoring one spouse over the other, particularly if one partner has significantly more assets or income than the other. Critics argue that this can create a power imbalance in the relationship, which can lead to issues down the line.

Another take: Prenups can be tailored to protect the less wealthy spouse, too

The truth is, prenups can actually be extremely effective at assisting the less wealthy partner in a relationship, too. There are a few prenup clauses in particular that can be especially helpful to someone in a relationship with a wealthier person—for example, allowing for renegotiation after certain events. In general, prenups are far more customizable than people realize—which means they can absolutely be adjusted to protect both parties equally.

The misconception: Prenups are only accessible to the wealthy

Some people argue that because prenups are complex legal documents, they’re only accessible to wealthy couples who can afford to hire lawyers and spend the time necessary to create a comprehensive agreement. As a result, this leaves less wealthy couples at a disadvantage.

Another take: Prenups are now more affordable

It’s always an option to hire an attorney who charges hourly—if you want to spend a whole lot of money on creating your prenup. For the same quality premarital agreement for far less money, you can go through a platform like First, which has a flat-fee rate that includes everything. That means you don’t have to worry about hours piling up, or stress out in anticipation of your lawyer’s bill. All you have to focus on is figuring out a premarital agreement you and your future spouse both feel good about.

While prenups have been thought of as controversial, their reputation is evolving. As they become more widely adopted by Millennials—who are using them to address entrepreneurial endeavors, debt, and even pets—it’s becoming more widely known that prenups are truly customizable and are designed to create as much certainty as possible for you and your spouse as you embark into forever.