A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement) is a legal document created before marriage planning your finances during marriage and defining how to divide assets between a couple in the event of a divorce or death.

There are, however, many more benefits to getting a prenup than protecting your money.

As you weigh the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement, factor these important points into your decision.

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Pros of Getting a Prenup

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A prenup is an effective defense against losing money or personal belongings during a divorce.

More importantly, a prenuptial agreement sets you up for a healthy marriage by forcing essential conversations about money and future planning with your future spouse.

Here are the main advantages to getting a prenuptial agreement.

1. Prenups Set You Up For A Successful Future

The money talk is one of the most important things you can do to establish a successful future as a couple.

With a prenup agreement, you can determine important stipulations, such as if you’ll choose to have kids, who will be responsible for caretaking, and the implications on your finances.

No kids? No problem. Prenups extend beyond family planning to include clauses relating to how to handle future assets (like a family trust), education, career plans, and even who gets the pets in a divorce.

The point is that having these discussions early on means you won’t be left scrambling to resolve these issues in real time.

The better prepared you are for your marriage, the easier (or less scary) it will be to approach finances and marital planning well into the future.

2. Prenups Get You On The Same Page With Your Partner

Meaningful Conversations

Nothing builds trust in a relationship like open communication and transparency.

A prenup allows you to have meaningful conversations surrounding money and life goals.

Ask your partner:

  • Do you have existing debts? How do you plan to repay them?
  • What are your current financial responsibilities?
  • When do you want to retire? How do you want to spend your retired life?
  • Are you a spender or a saver?
  • Do you have a formal or informal monthly budget?
  • What was your relationship with money like growing up?

Answering these questions will reveal eye-opening qualities and characteristics about your partner and their relationship with financial planning.

Questions like these help clear the air about goals and expectations. They get you and your spouse-to-be on the same page about your financial situation and hopes for the future.

It’s the perfect way to build a united front as you enter a new and exciting relationship phase.

3. Prenups Help Make The Divorce Process Smoother

In 50/50 divorce states like California, assets and debts are subject to an even division during divorce if you don’t have a prenup. This can lead to a drawn-out, contentious, and costly divorce if one or both partners feel a 50/50 property division is unfair.

A prenuptial agreement streamlines this draining process by outlining clear terms jointly decided on by the couple.

No one has to wonder which property and belongings to whom because they’ve already predetermined this information.

Ultimately, it’s a significant time, money, and stress saver.

Cons of Getting a Prenup

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While prenups may have unintended consequences in rare cases, most of the “cons” associated are easily avoided by taking extra precautions.

Here are a few potential cons of prenuptial agreements to consider.

1. Expectations Can Change During A Marriage

People change. You might be a different person five years after you signed your prenup.

For example, you might waive a spousal support provision when signing your prenup because you don’t plan to have children. This agreement may leave you or your partner without spousal support if you have kids and get divorced.

To avoid sticky situations like this, write your prenup carefully so that if circumstances change, you still have language built in to offer support.

So, in the above example, even if you don’t plan to have kids, still include language outlining spousal support expectations if you have children.

In addition, it’s important to note that a prenuptial agreement can always be modified. So, if your circumstances change, your agreement can change with your marriage.

2. A Bad Attorney Can Result in A Bad Prenup

The quality of your prenup will only be as good as the attorney you hire.

Do your research, find an experienced family law attorney (preferably one specializing in prenups), and ask questions throughout the process.

Prenups can be invalidated if they don’t follow a specific set of rules, so you’ll want to make sure the attorney you’re working with really knows what they’re doing.

Remember, this is your prenup, and you should leave the experience feeling confident that you and your partner got everything you wanted. If you leave with more questions than you came in with or generally have a bad feeling, it might be worth getting a second set of eyes on your prenup.

3. Prenups Can Be Spendy

Depending on the couple and their circumstances, a prenup may run you anywhere from $5K to $10K. Understandably, you may have sticker shock after that first consultation with a prenup attorney.

The truth is a prenup is an investment in your future that can save you thousands of dollars down the road. Just as you pay for health insurance on the off chance of a health incident, a prenup is a safeguard that saves you money in the long run.

The Takeaway: Prenups Have Clear Advantages


It’s hard to argue against the value a prenup brings to your marriage and long-term success. Regarding most of the concerns surrounding a prenup, you can avoid issues by working with the right prenup attorney.

Contact me for a consultation call if you want to take advantage of a custom prenuptial agreement that will set you up for marital success. I pride myself on working intimately with couples to create mutually beneficial prenuptial agreements in California.

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