The succinct and uncompromising answer to the above-posed headline question is this: not hardly.
Although many people have long associated prenuptial agreements with uber-wealthy couples who command substantial assets that could be at risk in a failed marriage, that perception has changed greatly in recent years.
The reason: When looked at dispassionately, the merits of a prenuptial contract clearly emerge. There are in fact many reasons why a couple — virtually any couple — might reasonably want to execute such a legal instrument prior to their marriage, and some of them are compellingly powerful.
For instance, just broaching the subject and candidly discussing the rationale and parameters of a prenup can be liberating for many soon-to-wed partners.
Call it an exercise in honesty, with a prenuptial agreement being less of a love killer (as it has been termed) than a love tester.
As a recent media article discussing the benefits of prenuptial agreements notes, a couple’s candid discussion regarding such a document can bring “greater transparency” to their relationship, especially in its early innings.
And, for obvious reasons, that can be critically important, given that the weeks and months prior to a wedding date are often all about love and ardor and not so much focused on objective financial thinking.
What if partner A is a consummate — even fretful — saver, with partner B being virtually unable to keep a dollar in his or her hands? It’s certainly better to note that prior to a walk down the aisle rather than following receipt of the first credit card bill.
Prenup-focused discussion, negotiation and drafting can steer a marital conversation toward vitally important topics at the very beginning of marriage, which can get a couple on the same page and potentially steel them for difficulties that might present themselves later down the road.
And it is certainly worth noting that the universe of topics that are relevant in a conversation centered on a premarital contract is wide; that is, matters ranging from inheritances and child rearing to religion and parental care are routinely included in the prenups that couples execute.
At its essence, a well-considered prenuptial agreement is a sound planning tool. A proven family law attorney with experience negotiating and drafting prenuptial contracts — as well as postnuptial agreements — can provide further information.