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Misconceptions about Prenuptial Agreements

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what a prenuptial agreement is and what they can do. The general stigma around a prenuptial agreement is that it is something a wealthy spouse can use to prevent the other spouse from leaving the marriage with any assets in the event of a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can of course do this, but that is not their only function.

Take a will for example. If you die without a will, the Ohio Revised Code has a set of rules which defines what happens to your assets. People draft wills because they don’t like the automatic rules the Ohio Revised Code lays out.

Similarly, if you get divorced without a prenuptial agreement there are numerous statutes, local county rules, and ever evolving case law which define what happens to your assets and support.

Laws are changing all the time. Judges and magistrates come and go. The exact same words in a statute can be interpreted differently county to county. You might get married in one state and move to another state; maybe the new state has penalties for things like adultery whereas Ohio does not. Anything could happen.

Like a will, a prenuptial agreement can be used as a tool for you and your spouse to determine the rules of an event you don’t want to think about and don’t want to happen. With the prenuptial agreement you set the rules in stone so there is no uncertainty as to what the rules are. The agreement will not be exposed to changes in law and judicial officers.

The prenuptial agreement can be drafted in a way that mirrors what would happen in a typical divorce, but maybe round out rough edges, or make certain terms more in line with what you and your partner think is fair.

The agreement would eliminate the need for a messy, expensive, dragged out, unpredictable, emotional, and expensive divorce.