Prenuptial agreements are made before a couple gets married, and they are then enforceable once the couple is married. Many people have misconceptions about prenuptial agreements, but there are many benefits for spouses to create this agreement. It’s especially helpful to work with a Columbia prenuptial attorney to safeguard each spouse’s individual interests and their interests as a couple.

Myth #1: Prenups Are Only Beneficial If You’re Wealthy

A prenuptial agreement can protect the interests of any couple with any amount of assets who wish to avoid lengthy litigation or mediation if they divorce. This is true regardless of the wealth of either spouse.

Additionally, prenuptial agreements do more than prevent a spouse from gaining access to wealth during a divorce. When making a prenup, spouses can make choices about what will be considered separate and marital property. The decisions that couples make about their rights to property also affect their marriage.

Prenuptial agreements have other benefits for spouses, including inheritance rights for children and protecting spouses from their partner’s debt after a divorce.

Myth #2: Prenups Are Only for a Divorce

When many people think of a prenuptial agreement, they believe it to be a precursor to a divorce. This is not the case. These agreements determine the financial and property expectations of each spouse, and they can also be the foundation of a couple’s estate plan. The property rights outlined for spouses can also determine each spouse’s property rights if one spouse dies.

Myth #3: Having a Prenup Means That You Have a Bad Relationship

Unlike the popular misconception, a prenup can actually strengthen the relationship between to-be spouses. It does not mean that spouses don’t trust each other or assume they will get divorced. Discussing financial rights and responsibilities can create a strong foundation for communication about these matters and help spouses be more honest about them.

It can also provide stability for a lower-earning spouse if the couple divorces, which can make that spouse feel more secure in their financial future. This security can then make them feel more secure in their current relationship.

Myth #4: It’s Too Expensive to Get a Prenup

Prenuptial agreements and other forms of marital agreements can be very expensive. However, they can also keep spouses from entering litigation to determine their division of property. By avoiding court for this process, spouses can save much more than they paid for their prenuptial agreement. Of course, this benefit only exists if the agreement is enforceable, which is why the aid of an attorney is so important.

Myth #5: Prenups Are Never Enforced By the Court

It’s uncommon for premarital agreements to be thrown out by the court. There have to be specific reasons for a court to not enforce a marital agreement:

  1. It does not follow contract law.
  2. It has terms that are unconscionable to one spouse.

For example, if a spouse did not disclose all their assets and debts when creating the marital agreement, the agreement is unenforceable. Illegal or unfair terms may also make the agreement unenforceable. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney to avoid this. Your attorney can review the agreement or help you and your spouse negotiate the terms. That way, your agreement is more likely to be enforceable.

Myth #6: Prenups Are Always One-Sided

This myth comes from the misconception that a prenup is created by one spouse, who then asks the other spouse to sign it. This is not how most prenuptial agreements are created. Preferably, a prenuptial agreement is a mutual discussion involving collaboration between spouses. If only one spouse creates the terms, then it is likely to solely protect their assets. A mutual agreement, however, especially with legal representation, is more likely to be fair and beneficial for the couple.

When a prenuptial agreement is one-sided and unfair to a spouse, the court will not enforce it. An unenforceable agreement means that spouses will have to negotiate their property division outside of court or be subject to equitable distribution by the court.


Q: Do Prenups Hold Up in Missouri?

A: Yes, a prenuptial agreement that is well-made and legally valid will hold up in a Missouri court. If the agreement does not align with contract laws or is unconscionable, then it will not hold up. Contact laws require, among other terms, that the agreement be signed and consented to by both parties.

If a prenuptial agreement is unconscionable, it means that the court has decided it is unfair to one party and would place them in hardship or without significant rights if the agreement were enforced.

Q: What Are the Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement in Missouri?

A: In Missouri, the requirements for an enforceable prenuptial agreement are:

  1. The agreement is in writing and signed by both parties.
  2. Both parties have the legal ability to consent to the terms, and it was not signed under duress.
  3. Parties acted in good faith when disclosing their assets and entering into the agreement.
  4. The agreement is not unconscionable to either party.

There must be a specific legal reason for a prenuptial agreement to be found invalid or unconscionable, or else it is legally enforceable.

Q: What Are Five Things That Cannot Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A: Prenuptial agreements exist for spouses to determine financial arrangements prior to marriage. There are several things that it cannot cover, such as:

  1. Child custody
  2. Child support
  3. Unconscionable or unreasonable terms
  4. Terms that incentivize divorce
  5. Anything that is illegal

Terms for child support and custody are not allowed because those decisions must be made at the time of a divorce or separation in the child’s interests.

When the court reviews a prenuptial agreement with these provisions, it may refuse to enforce any part of the contract, or it may only strike the offending provisions from the agreement.

Q: How Much Does a Prenup Cost in Missouri?

A: Creating a prenuptial agreement may range from several hundred to several hundred thousand dollars. While it is legally possible to create these agreements without an attorney, it may cost you significantly more in the future if the contract is unenforceable. You can work with an attorney to draft and negotiate the agreement or simply have them review it. If you and your spouse have more complex assets, the cost of an attorney may be higher.

Protecting Your Interests

If you are not sure if a prenuptial agreement is right for your marriage, talk with an experienced attorney at Stange Law Firm.