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To PreNuptial or Not to PreNuptial

Last year, three cases in my circle of friends’ relatives broke their engagement because of failure in Prenuptial Agreement negotiations. Today, more and more couples get into the discussion of having a prenuptial or not to have a prenuptial!

What is a prenuptial agreement? It is a legal contract between two people before marriage to spell out how all the assets will be distributed in case of death or divorce.

When I first heard of what a prenuptial is, I realized it’s not something that was invented in the U.S. but it’s been around for thousands of years. In the Far East royal families had rules to protect their wealth. Also in Islamic traditions, the marriage contract has a section designated for the bride and groom to dictate any conditions they want the other to abide by for certain rights to be preserved.

It’s understood that in this day and age young or old couples getting married must talk about prenuptials and spell out exactly how each one’s assets are being protected. In my opinion, it is fair in the case when the person who accumulated the wealth has done it through solo hard work. In the case of when both have worked hard to earn the wealth or shared the responsibility and support for each other during their marriage, then, in case of divorce, both are entitled for their share that they’ve accomplished.

The divorce rate is on the rise today as one in every three first marriages end in divorce and 50 percent of second and third marriages go that route. Actually, just last week I was in Chicago and met a minister who officiates marriages. Last year, he conducted 100 marriages! He put his head down as he stated that 50 of them ended in divorce.

Think of it as a business arrangement or as an insurance policy to help remove some of the emotion that’s naturally involved,” says Nancy Dunnan, a New York City financial adviser and author. “Marriage is not just an emotional and physical union — it’s also a financial union. A prenup and the discussions that go with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.

Of course there is no place for romance once a “Prenuptial” is mentioned. That’s what the other school of thought argue about. Marriage should be entered with the intention to stay in that marriage forever and to have a prenup discussed proves that there is no trust and no commitment.

What do you think? Prenuptial or no prenuptial?

Comments (10)

I can see how this can benefit the average person, especially in today's culture. For me personally, divorce was never an option my husband and I would consider, so a prenup just doesn't make sense. Plus, you have to have assets to distribute. ;)
    Erin, it's a changing world and prenups are becoming popular for many reasons depending on the situation of both bride and groom. The concern comes from the party that has the assets. One author of an article advised if one party has the sum of $30,000 before marriage in savings, then a prenup is required.. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!
I'm not married myself, but I'm old enough to know that marriage is no longer all about hearts and flowers! Marriage today is a whole different ball game and I think it should be viewed as a partnership. I believe it's totally practical to get a prenuptial,
    Thank you Ann-Marie for your comment. It is sure a partnership in every aspect of their lives together. The difference is that it should not be looked at as a business partnership! Both are entering into a life together to build a family with children. Prenuptial is becoming popular also because of the high divorce rate and, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons why people are getting married.
One should also check the laws of the state in which you live- and where one moves. Some states (and certain local jurisdictions) believe there is an expiration date for these prenups. Divorcing after 10 or more years ay means the prenup should have been renewed...
    RAAckerman, you sure pointed out an extremely important matter. For the states that require a set length of time for a prenup agreement it takes into consideration that the married couple has lived long enough with each other to build a different kind of love, trust, and connection that will make it hard to divorce. Or, that it gives them a second chance to rethink what they started out with when they married. Thank you for your $0.02 :) as you commented on facebook on the post :) I appreciate your advise.
this is new information to me. such laws do not exist in all countries i think. nice post and great info to be aware of.
    Thank you Amar for stopping by today. We all learn new things everyday! I learn a lot when I visit your blogs :)
I'll admit that I am not a fan of a prenup. I understand the thought behind them, but I also think they can result in choosing to leave a marriage rather than work on problems, because you are afraid your prenup will expire while you are trying to work things out. I just feel if you go into the marriage with an exit strategy, there will eventually be an exit. Cindy http://scribler.us
    Cindy, when we start a business we must also think of an exit strategy whether to sell the business, dismantle it, merge it with another, etc. In marriage it's not considered an exit strategy as much as it's considered preserving the rights of the woman and the man and subsequently their families. This is how a prenup is perceived in its original form. When the couple or one of them enter a marriage for the sole purpose that the other is rich and they can benefit one way or another, this is not considered a true marriage. Here, it becomes a greedy deal! Thank you Cindy for your comment!

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