10 Common Myths About Prenuptial Agreements

sarah ryan
Sarah RyanAccount Manager @ Lawhive & Non-Practising Solicitor
Updated on 17th May 2024

Prenuptial agreements, or prenups as they're often called, have been plagued by myths and misconceptions for ages.

These misunderstandings can make it super awkward and unromantic to bring up the topic with your partner. Suddenly, you're left wondering if asking your partner for a prenup means you're not fully committed to the marriage or that you have a hidden agenda.

But prenups can be a smart way to protect your assets and set clear financial expectations for the future.

In this article, we aim to debunk the top 10 myths about prenuptial agreements. If you're thinking about getting one yourself, we're here to give you the lowdown so you and your partner can make an informed decision without all the drama.

Myth 1: Prenups are only for the wealthy 

The idea that prenups are exclusively for the wealthy stems from media portrayals and cultural stereotypes. Prenuptial agreements have long been associated with celebrities and the ultra-rich, leading many to believe that they're unnecessary for average couples.

But this isn’t true. 

Prenuptial agreements aren’t just for the wealthy. They’re for anyone who wants to protect their assets and clarify financial expectations before marriage. Regardless of how much you earn, a prenup can clarify things like property ownership and debt division, outlining what is shared, and what is to be kept separate from the family pot. 

Myth 2: Prenups mean you expect the marriage to fail

The notion that a prenup implies a lack of faith in the marriage’s success is fueled by romantic ideals. Many people associate prenups with anticipating a divorce, which can create negative perceptions about their purpose and the motivations of partners who suggest them. 

But having a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you expect the marriage to fail. Instead, it’s a practical, responsible step that protects both partner’s interests and clarifies financial expectations.

Marriage is a legal arrangement between the two of you. Just as you would purchase insurance for your home or care without expecting them to be damaged or stolen, a prenup is a precautionary measure not a prediction of divorce. 

Myth 3: Prenups are unromantic

There’s a long-held belief that marriage should be solely about love and trust, free from cold hard (read: practical) considerations like finances. Sure, while sitting down with a family lawyer and discussing prenuptial agreements isn’t necessarily anyone’s idea of the perfect date night, prenups can be incredibly beneficial for a relationship because they promote honesty, transparency, and trust between partners. 

Furthermore, recognising and addressing potential challenges before they arise demonstrates a commitment to the relationship's long-term success and mutual well-being.

Myth 4: Prenups are only for those with significant assets

The misconception that prenuptial agreements are exclusively for individuals with substantial wealth stems from the belief that they only serve to protect assets. This myth overlooks the broader purpose of prenups, which can address lots of financial matters beyond asset protection.

In reality, prenuptial agreements are accessible and beneficial to couples of all financial backgrounds. While they can certainly safeguard assets, prenups can address debt division, spousal support, and other financial considerations relevant to couples of all income levels

Myth 5: Prenups are unfair to one partner

Lots of people think that prenups favour one partner over the other, typically the wealthier one. But this myth overlooks the fact that prenups are meant to protect the interests of both parties and can be tailored with fairness and equity in mind. 

Instead of viewing prenups as an arrangement that benefits just one-half of a couple, it’s important to approach prenuptial agreements with the mindset that they provide a framework for couples to define their financial rights and responsibilities in a way that reflects their individual needs and circumstances. When drafted thoughtfully and with input from both parties, prenups can and do promote fairness and transparency in the relationship. 

Most importantly, each partner should have their own solicitor review the prenup and make sure their rights are protected to help prevent one-sided agreements and promote fairness. 

Myth 6: Prenups can cover everything 

Prenups are flexible legal documents but they can’t address every aspect of a couple’s lives. Primarily, they cover financial matters but certain provisions are not enforceable or are against public policy, and prenups can’t override the law or dictate outcomes in areas like child maintenance and arrangements. 

Prenups also can’t anticipate every possible scenario that may happen during a marriage. What they can do is address a wide range of financial matters including: 

  • Asset division 

  • Debt allocation 

  • Spousal support

  • Inheritance rights 

  • Business ownership and management 

  • Property ownership and rights

Myth 7: Prenups aren’t legally binding

Many believe that prenups aren't taken seriously by the courts, leading to doubts about their effectiveness.

Prenups carry significant weight in the event of divorce and courts in the UK have increasingly recognise their importance and are more likely to uphold them if they are fair, transparent, and entered into willingly by both parties. 

Therefore, to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally enforceable, or has the best chance of being enforced by the courts, you should seek independent legal advice from a family law solicitor.

They can draft a prenuptial agreement and xplain the implications of any terms contained within it, supporting you to negotiate an agreement that meets legal requirements and protects your interests. 

Myth 8: Prenups create distrust 

Lots of people think that discussing financial matters before marriage is a sign of mistrust. Based on this misconception, many partners find it difficult to broach the subject before they get married because they are afraid their significant other will react negatively. 

But let’s look at it another way. Discussing a prenup encourages couples to have open and honest conversations about their finances. Full and frank disclosure leaves no stone unturned and gives couples a clear overview of how finances will be managed now and in the future. 

If one partner is hesitant about discussing a prenup, it’s important to address their concerns openly and empathetically. Rather than viewing prenups as a source of distrust, couples should reframe them as a proactive and responsible decision that strengthens trust by providing transparency in finances. 

Myth 9: You can’t change a prenup once it’s signed

Prenuptial agreements aren’t set in stone once they’re signed. They can be amended or revised under certain circumstances to reflect changes in circumstances, such as the birth of children, significant changes in income or assets, or shifts in financial goals and priorities. 

Many prenups include provisions for these kinds of modifications but they must be agreed by both parties and amendments must be executed in line with the law. Again, it’s advisable to get independent legal advice before making any changes to understand the implications and ensure the agreement remains fair between partners. 

Myth 10: Prenups are too expensive 

A lack of understanding of the costs involved and long-term benefits of a prenup leads people to assume they are prohibitively expensive. Lots of people think that getting legal advice and drafting a prenup will cost a lot of money, deterring them from exploring this option. 

Of course, there are costs associated with creating a prenuptial agreement, like solicitors fees, but they are often offset by the protections afforded by having a prenup in place.

Many of us know of couples who have spent money hand over fist when getting divorced, when a prenup may have prevented this eventuality had it been considered before they got married. 

The truth is, prenuptial agreements are more affordable than you think. Many family law solicitors, including our network at Lawhive, offer fixed-fee services for providing advice and drafting prenuptial agreements, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

How can Lawhive help? 

At Lawhive, we aim to make access to the law affordable and accessible for everyone.

Our network of solicitors specialise in family law and have extensive experience in drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements. They can provide expert advice and ensure your prenup is legally valid, enforceable, and tailored to your circumstances. 

What’s more, we offer fixed-fee services for drafting prenuptial agreements, providing transparency and predictability regarding costs. You'll know exactly what you're paying for upfront, with no hidden fees or surprises.

By seeking legal advice and having a prenuptial agreement in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected and that you have a clear plan in case of divorce. So, don’t let misconceptions about cost deter you from considering a prenuptial agreement. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your prenup and get a free quote for the services of a specialist lawyer. 

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