Between news coverage, soap operas and family drama, we all have some preconceived notions about premarital agreements (also know as prenuptial agreements). Here are a few of the most common myths, debunked:
Myth 1: Prenuptial agreements are only for wealthy people, my fiance and I are not rich and so we don't need an agreement.
You may not be rich, but you definitely want to have a successful marriage. Having those honest discussions regarding how the two of you will approach finances will ensure that there won't be any surprises once you are married. You never want to actually need to enforce the premarital agreement, right? Talking about financial issues in advance will help insure that you handle your finances with minimal conflict during your marriage as well as in case of divorce.
Example: You may become rich in the future. Your education or ideas and talents may one day become more valuable than they are today. You need to think about how you'd want to handle the sale of a book, screenplay or song; you may also need to think about how you'd handle the division of a business in the event of a divorce.
Example: Second and third marriages can often bring conflict between children from prior relationships and new spouses. Clear discussions about finances in a divorce or premature death situation help everyone avoid conflict later.
Myth 2: Prenuptial agreements are designed to simply protect the wealthier spouse and strip the other spouse of all of his or her rights.
Fact: Prenuptial and premarital agreements should be designed to protect both spouses. Premarital agreements which are unfair and completely one-sided are probably not enforceable in court. By definition, the agreement must be fair. The basic requirements for premarital agreements to be enforceable are: signing the agreement must be voluntary, it can't be unfair when it's signed; each party needs to make a full disclosure of your assets and debts.
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For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/