I recently met Kristina Larry of Sassy Litigations, who is a Managing Attorney and Certified Mediator…and is also the Prenup Princess and the Seattle Wedding Lawyer. She impressed me with her no-nonsense approach to family law and her willingness to help people who don’t necessarily have $350 an hour to pay an attorney.
I asked her to be the Guest Writer for this post, which covers her top 10 myths about prenups. Take it away, Kristina:
Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups” for short, still come with a lot of stigma, misconceptions, and myths. Here are the top myths I hear and the facts that go with them:
- Prenups are unromantic. Marriage is not all about romance and if that is how you are thinking of it you may want to rethink it altogether. Put aside the romance and do something that will not only protect you but could also be beneficial for your marriage.
- Prenups are for the rich or celebrities. Yes, “rich” people do tend to get prenups more than “non-rich” people but that doesn’t mean they aren’t for everyone. Think about it: if a “rich” person has $20 million and they lose half they are probably going to be just fine. But if you have $60,000 and you lose half you won’t be fine.
- Prenups lead to marriages being called off. I’m not sure who started that rumor but it is not true. What CAN lead to the marriage being called off is realizing that the person you were going to marry is being unfair or unreasonable when it comes to the prenup.
- Prenups are too expensive. Weddings are averaging $30,000, divorces average $17,000 to $32,000 per person, and a prenup averages $2,500. A prenup makes “cents.”
- “I don’t have anything; I don’t need a prenup.” You may not have anything now but what about in the future? Are you building a business or going to school? Do you anticipate a higher earning potential? You need to protect your future self, too.
- A prenup means there is no trust. A prenup means that you both want to be financially responsible, and in case something happens you have a plan for how to deal with it. It doesn’t mean you lack trust. In fact, sharing all of your financial information shows a great deal of trust.
- “They don’t want my money.” Sure, they don’t want your money now, but how about 7 years down the road when you are both bitter and angry? Divorce changes people. Talk about how to divide things when you are still in love, not when you are hurt and vengeful.
- Prenups never hold up, anyway. If your prenup follows the rules it should withstand scrutiny. Prenups must be fair, drafted well before a wedding date, and each person should have their own lawyer.
- Prenups are just about keeping your stuff. A prenup can be a great tool to get you and your future spouse talking about money. You can understand each other’s spending habits, saving habits, and retirement plans. It gives you the opportunity to decide how to spilt assets in case of divorce. It also gives you a chance to decide what would be fair to each other in case of a divorce.
- A prenup is only good in case of divorce. A prenup can be a great estate planning tool, and it can help govern your financial goals during your marriage: how you will handle spending and big purchases and whose income will be used for which expenses.
And did you know that there are also postnups if you didn’t catch all of this before the wedding? I didn’t know that, either, until I met Kristina. Many thanks to her for her insights, and for taking the time to share them with us. If you have questions about prenups or postnups, please contact Kristina.