I previously gave some reasons why engaged couples should consider a prenuptial agreement. Here, I’m going to share the most common reasons why people may choose not to have such an agreement.
1. Discussing the prenuptial agreement takes the romance out of marriage
Talking about what will happen if you get divorced before you’re even married is probably not the best start to a romantic evening. Your partner may feel that you already think the marriage won’t last, or you don’t think they will be reasonable in a divorce, or that money is more important to you than your love and relationship.
However, if you’re smart you’ll pick the time and place to have this conversation carefully (the day before the wedding is out). You may find that talking about your prenuptial agreement may give the two of you an opportunity to discuss topics you hadn’t previously. You might find out that the two of you don’t agree on some areas as much as you had thought, and you can use the opportunity to come to an accord in a healthy and productive manner.
2. A prenuptial agreement indicates a lack of trust
Some people believe that even mentioning a prenuptial agreement is evidence that one partner doesn’t trust the other. Worse, it may appear that one partner is going into the marriage planning to get out.
On the other hand, a well negotiated and drafted prenuptial agreement can offer something for both parties. While the spouse with the greater financial resources will have assets to protect, the spouse with fewer resources should take the opportunity to make sure they’ll have the needed support should the marriage dissolve. Instead of thinking of it as planning your divorce, think of it as planning more reasons to stay married.
3. The prenup can’t control child custody or child support
In Tennessee, you do not have the ability to make decisions about how the parenting time will be divided or how much child support will be paid after a divorce. Our courts are charged with the duty and responsibility to protect the best interests of the children, and that responsibility simply can’t be truncated in a private contract.
However, you can plan for the children in other ways. You can agree to set up an education fund or a trust for each child for their benefit later. You can decide whether or not the children will attend private schools, what religious teachings will be introduced to them, what type of insurance they’ll have, how much life insurance to own for their benefit, as well as settle other issues.
4. These agreements are forbidden by your religion or culture
Some faiths have very strong views about premarital contracts, and I would never suggest that you should do something in violation of your beliefs. What I would encourage you to do is have a conversation with your religious leaders to find out what the specific limitations are. Sometimes prenuptial agreements are permissible if they’re written in a specific way, and I would be happy to help you craft an agreement that fits within the laws or cannons of your religion.
This isn’t necessarily true at all. I quote flat fees for the preparation of a prenup, and my fee is primarily based on the complexity of the agreement. Most likely, the cost of the prenup will be small in comparison to the cost of the wedding, and it may save you a ton of money later.
Get more information
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular, and they have much less of a stigma than they had in years past. If you’re getting married sometime soon and you think you may need a prenuptial agreement, call me to find out how I can help you.