There are a lot of misconceptions about prenuptial agreements. As family law practitioners, we hear all kinds of crazy questions about prenups. Most of the time, our clients are afraid to ask even the most basic questions. We have prepared this list of the most commonly asked questions about prenuptial agreements to help dispel some of the myths about prenuptial agreements.
1. I don’t have anything do I really need a
You don’t need a prenup if you are both poor
and have no chance of ever having anything, ever, including a business, a
pension, property, cars, a job, investments, pets or an inheritance. While most
people think prenuptial agreements are only for people who have lots of money,
they are usually for the everyday person. Essentially, having the prenup is
like buying insurance – you hope you never need it, but it is there in case you
Having a prenup can also be helpful to a
spouse with fewer assets because individuals will often quit a job or relocate
prior to a marriage. A prenup can ensure that they are made financially whole
in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
Most prenups address spousal support in the
event of divorce as well as how assets and debts, both prior to marriage and
those acquired during the marriage will be divided. A solid prenup can also
address the rights of a spouse upon death or incapacity of their partner.
2. Is my
spouse asking me to sign a prenup because they don’t trust me?
In our experience, absolutely not. Usually, a
spouse asks for a prenup because they are trying to protect an asset they own prior
to marriage or save their spouse from substantial debt accumulated prior to
marriage. Having a prenup can be a win-win for both parties and doesn’t mean
that one party is not trustworthy. Rather, having a prenup should be considered
as a way for a married couple to create their marital financial roadmap. Most
sound prenups are more involved than simply saying who gets what if the parties
divorce. A good prenuptial agreement will define how property should be
acquired and what happens to property if one party should pass away or become
incapacitated. Drafting a prenuptial agreement can really assist an engaged
couple in planning for their financial future rather than being used as a
testament of distrust.
3. Why cant we just write down on a piece of
paper who gets what? Why do we need a lawyer?
There are so many
reasons that a do-it-yourself prenuptial agreement is a bad idea that we cannot
state them all here. While there are many legal documents that can be drafted
on your own, a prenup is not one of them. In our experience most prenups that were
drafted by divorcing spouses themselves, or even drafted by a notary, have been
Furthermore, Nevada has an entire statute (NRS 123A),
dedicated to the content and enforcement of prenups. In the event the parties
draft their own prenup and get divorced, the divorce judge will look to the
statute to see if the prenup complies – in most cases, the prenup does not meet
the strict standards of the statutes and will be deemed unenforceable. Simply,
having a prenup drafted by an attorney ensures that the agreement is sound and
complies with the law.
4. Can we change the terms of the prenup
later if something changes?
Of course. Prenuptial agreements can always
be modified at a later date as long as both parties agree. Usually a prenuptial
agreement modification must be in writing and signed by both parties to become
much is a prenup going to cost me?
At our firm, we do
not charge by the hour for drafting the prenup. Instead, we charge a flat fee
that ranges anywhere from $375 to $3,500 depending upon the complexity of the
agreement being drafted and the nature of the assets and debts involved.
information about prenuptial agreements, please contact our office at (702)
433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.