When you think of a marriage as a legal contract, which it is, a prenuptial agreement is an entirely reasonable consideration. However, prenups are not very romantic, which may be why there has been a stigma attached to them for so long.
With the possibility of divorce an inescapable reality, couples are gradually becoming more comfortable talking about and entering into prenuptial agreements, even those who are younger, poorer and/or marrying for the first time. Nevertheless, you may still have misunderstandings about prenups based on outdated information. Business Insider describes some common misconceptions about prenups, along with the facts related to each.
1. The terms of a prenup are inflexible
There is a grain of truth to this one. If you are the less-moneyed spouse, you cannot receive less than what the prenuptial agreement requires. However, assuming your spouse is amenable to it, you could receive more.
2. A prenup is valid as long as you sign it before the wedding
Possibly, but not necessarily. If you and your intended spouse sign a prenuptial agreement at the last minute, it could raise the question of whether one of you coerced the other into it. A prenuptial agreement signed under duress may be invalid.
3. A prenup leads to divorce
This is like saying taking out an insurance policy leads to car accidents or house fires. Having an insurance policy does not cause bad things to happen; it only protects you if they do. The same is true of a prenuptial agreement. As a matter of fact, most mental health providers agree that prenups do not impact marriages in any predictable way. In fact, some researchers believe that having a prenup can actually help you avoid divorce.
If you get married without a prenuptial agreement and you and your spouse decide later that you want the protection it provides, it is possible to create a postnuptial agreement. However, this can make the process much more complicated.