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Some potential down sides to prenuptial agreements

As we discussed recently here on our Tustin family law blog, a prenuptial agreement can prove beneficial in many ways for a couple preparing for marriage. But it is something to consider carefully, as there can be some down sides to a prenuptial agreement if a couple does decide to separate and divorce.

Perhaps the most obvious down side to a prenuptial agreement is the awkward, potentially difficult (or worse) conversation that a couple must have when deciding whether to execute one. Bringing up the subject in a way that catches one's partner off guard or makes them feel defensive can make lead to a sense of mistrust. The early days of an engagement are typically a time of high romantic emotions, which can also mean that couples who do seek a prenuptial agreement are inclined to make compromises that seem trivial at the time, but end up causing trouble.

On a more technical topic, partners who sign prenuptial agreements may be giving up more than they would otherwise be entitled to in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement may prevent one partner from inheriting anything from the other's estate if that person were to pass away, a right which married partners otherwise have regardless of whether or not it is indicated in a will. It can also limit how much a spouse receives from the other spouse's professional practice or business, even if he or she helps out and contributes to the success of that endeavor.

Ultimately, for a prenuptial agreement to be of benefit to the partners and protect both of their interests, a legal professional's assistance should be considered. The information here is presented as a general background on prenuptial agreements only, and is not intended as specific legal advice.

Source: FindlLaw, "Pros and Cons: Premarital Agreements ("Prenuptials")," accessed Feb. 9, 2018

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