A prenuptial agreement is one form of marital agreement that spouses can create prior to their marriage. Once they are married, a prenuptial agreement becomes enforceable as long as it is legally valid. To protect your rights and create a legally valid prenup, you want to work with a St. Louis family law attorney. An attorney can also help you determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you and the benefits it may bring.

There are several misconceptions about prenups, including that they encourage divorce or suggest mistrust. These myths have been debunked over time, but not everyone is aware of the benefits that a prenuptial agreement can have for couples. Some misunderstandings about prenuptial agreements include:

Myth 1: Prenuptial Agreements Show Distrust and Mean That Your Marriage Will End

There is a misconception that signing a prenup or even suggesting a prenuptial agreement means that you do not trust your spouse or anticipate that the marriage will end. This is not the case. In fact, the discussion that surrounds a strong prenuptial agreement can help spouses gain more trust in each other and be more upfront about important financial issues. The honesty about the possibility of divorce and a worst-case situation can also establish clear trust and respect between parties.

A marital agreement makes clear the rights and responsibilities of each spouse to specific assets during marriage and in the case of divorce. This can help avoid significant conflict in a marriage.

Because a marital agreement can help determine the financial stability of each spouse in case of divorce, it can make spouses feel more secure in their future and, therefore, their marriage.

Myth 2: Prenuptial Agreements Only Benefit You If You Are Wealthy

Marital agreements have several benefits, regardless of the wealth of either or both parties. This misconception comes from the idea that these agreements only exist to keep high-value assets from a spouse during a divorce. Prenuptial agreements do much more than this.

Any couple with assets can benefit from these agreements, as they help with important financial decisions during marriage and make a potential divorce go more smoothly. Without a prenuptial agreement, spouses must take significant time to negotiate the same information at a much harder time in their lives. Otherwise, the final division of property is up to the court.

Couples with children from prior marriages can benefit from a prenuptial agreement by making the inheritance rights of all their children clear. Additionally, if one spouse enters a marriage with significant debt, a marital agreement can protect the other spouse from being responsible for this debt.

Myth 3: Prenuptial Agreements Are Biased and Unfair

Some people believe that prenuptial agreements are drafted by one spouse and given to the other to sign. This creates the assumption that a prenuptial agreement will always be unfair and only protect one spouse’s rights and assets. However, this is not the most common or most beneficial way for these agreements to be made. A good prenuptial agreement is one that is negotiated and created by both spouses.

A good prenuptial agreement also includes one or more attorneys, which ensures that the agreement is enforceable and not one-sided. An unconscionable agreement can’t be enforced by the court, but there may be cases where an agreement benefits one spouse more than the other without an attorney to protect their rights.

Myth 4: Prenuptial Agreements Are Unenforceable

A prenuptial or other marital agreement is a legal contract and, therefore, enforceable as long as it follows contract law. If either spouse fails to disclose their assets and debts or enters into the agreement under fraudulent means, it is unenforceable. If either spouse signs under duress, such as not having proper time to look at the terms of the agreement, that also makes the agreement unenforceable.


Q: How Common Are Cheating Clauses in Prenups?

A: Cheating clauses in prenups are fairly common but depend on the state. A cheating or infidelity clause is a specific provision that some couples include in their prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. This provision may result in a modification or re-negotiation of the division of property set forth in the agreement if one spouse cheats on the other. These are not always enforceable in every state, and they are popular among spouses who create lifestyle stipulations in prenuptial agreements. Some states will not enforce cheating clauses, and many states will not enforce any lifestyle clauses.

Q: Why Would a Prenup Be Invalid in Missouri?

A: A prenuptial agreement is invalid if it does not adhere to contract law. This means that:

  • It is signed by both parties in writing.
  • Both parties have the legal ability to consent to the agreement, including being at least 18 and having a full understanding of the meaning of signing the agreement.
  • Both parties acted in good faith and have disclosed all assets and debts, along with their values.
  • The agreement was not made under duress, including being created and signed too closely to the wedding, preventing the other spouse from having time to read and understand the agreement.

Q: How Often Do Prenups Get Thrown Out?

A: Prenups are not often thrown out. Because there must be specific reasons for the agreement to be thrown out, it does not happen often. A prenuptial agreement will only be thrown out if it is legally invalid. This may occur if it does not follow basic contract law or is unconscionable. This means that it is unfair to one spouse, such as not protecting any of their assets or leaving them in significant financial hardship in a divorce. If a prenup is legally enforceable and reasonably fair, it won’t be thrown out.

Q: Do Prenups Hold Up in Missouri?

A: A well-crafted prenup will hold up in Missouri usually. Prenuptial agreements are recognized in Missouri as long as they are legally enforceable. The following must be true for it to be enforceable:

  1. Parties entered into the agreement in good faith, fairly, willingly, and with complete financial disclosure.
  2. The agreement is in writing and signed.
  3. The agreement is conscionable. An unconscionable agreement means that one party is left with significant financial needs, large undue burdens, or a lack of basic rights.

Contact Stange Law Firm in St. Louis

The most effective way to create a fair, beneficial, and legally valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is to have skilled legal representation. If you have any questions or concerns about prenuptial agreements or want to determine if an agreement is right for your marriage, contact Stange Law Firm today.