Pre-Nuptial Agreements – For or Against?

Prenuptials are becoming so commonplace that those with a paralegal certification can draw them up from a standard document preparation website, such as JustDocPrep. However, legislation has yet to catch up with marital trends and in many places, these agreements are mere formalities.

Recent reports in the media state that more couples are signing pre-nuptial agreements although ‘pre-nups’ are not yet legally binding in England and Wales.

There are arguments for and against pre-nuptial agreements. On the one hand it’s a way of safeguarding the assets that you had before you met your fiancée. On the other hand, why would you marry someone you had so little trust in? It almost smacks of expecting the marriage to fail. Then again, with the failure rate of marriage at approximately 45% perhaps it is just a wise precaution.

How do you feel if you’ve met the love of your life, you’ve had a wonderful romance, they’ve asked you to marry them and then they handed you a pre-nup to sign? It’s not very romantic is it? Would you feel that they didn’t trust you, maybe don’t really love you? Would it feel like they were just going into the marriage thinking that if it doesn’t work they can always divorce you? What about their commitment to you?

I’m a fairly practical individual and on the whole I don’t think I’d mind being asked to sign a pre-nup as long as I was given plenty of time before the wedding to have it checked by a lawyer, it was fair to both parties and had provisions for any children of the marriage.

How would you feel if you were asked to sign a pre-nuptial agreement? Would you be upset and indignant or would you accept that, in these days where people marry later in life and already have assets, it is only fair that you should be able to protect what you have worked hard for.

Pre-nuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous – they are for anyone who has assets that they want to protect. What do you think – a good idea or a bad idea?

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4 Comments

Filed under finance and divorce, Relationships

4 responses to “Pre-Nuptial Agreements – For or Against?

  1. I’m all for pre-nup.
    At least I’ll know how much I’ll be getting in case I ditch him.
    The key here is to get a good lawyer to negotiate a good pre-nup. If he thinks you’re not worth so much, then just walk!

  2. Cheryl

    I think they are a good idea going forward. I am a second wife who is helping pay unnecessary lifetime alimony, plus all of the debts from the first marriage. She makes plenty of money on her own, plus has inheritance and her own retirement. I think alimony is an antiquated law that should be done away with. Child support is great, and is right. Everyone else should take care of themselves. Unless the lady was asked to stay home and take care of the family full time, and still has underage children at home, there should never be alimony. Even then, it should only be temporary (rehabilitative). Everything should be decided up front with a pre-nup arrangement. That way, a nasty divorce costing both parties thousands is not needed.

  3. Sally Guo

    I am against a pre-nuptial agreement. Even though a prenup is supposed to protect your financial assets before your marriage, it doesn’t protect everything you had before a marriage. Let’s say you are a woman, before your marriage, you had youth, you had dating and marriage potential, you had child-bearing capabilities. After marrying the guy, you gave birth to children, you became old, you lost physical beauty, dating potential, and child-bearing abilities, yet your guy cheats, and looks for a younger girl. In this case, does the pre-nup get back what you had before your marriage? Does it get back your youth, your dating potential, your child-bearing capabilities? You wasted your life on a man who cheated, when you could’ve married a better man. If a pre-nup can protect everything, then I would go for a pre-nup.

  4. njncguy

    From personal experience a pre-nup is the only way to go. I’ve had it both ways. A pre-nup is what works (and can well be a key to having a happy marriage).

    Understand that withOUT a pre-nup you’re still agreeing to a financial contract just as much as if you had signed a formal pre-nup. If you don’t have a pre-nup the default “contract” is your state’s divorce laws that will control your divorce.

    And that state law “contract” is a recipe for disaster. A financially crippling all-out “war” often results. Under the state laws a divorce is a legal fight with costly lawyers zealously representing their client’s interests. Adding to the problem is the state laws are gray (giving lots of room to fight). Further, at the time of a divorce the couple is at odds with each other. Inevitably, one’s sense of what’s “fair” get shunted aside in the grab for money. The only winners in such a “war” are typically the lawyers (given their large fees).

    In my earlier marriage NOT having a pre-nup cost me severely. The craziness of the state laws set things up so my to-be ex could blackmail me (with legal costs). The result was she walked away with large amounts of what I owned from BEFORE marriage (something state laws — in theory — say can’t happen). Others get pulled into the meat grinder of the state laws by having to pay lifetime alimony after just 13 years of marriage. Insanity! Having a pre-nup prevents such insanity (and makes it so your lawyers don’t take all of the money).

    In sharp contrast, I’m now happily remarried WITH a pre-nup . A pre-nup means we’re both on the same page of how we see things should be handled not just in case of a divorce but also during a marriage. A pre-nup also helps ensure the we’re both better off together (at least financially) and neither spouse has an incentive to just “cash out” of the marriage (possibly hoping for a windfall “payday” given the craziness of how sate divorce laws can work).

    I have more to say in this blog of mine: http://njncguydotcom.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/a-pre-nuptial-agreement-can-be-the-key-to-a-happy-marriage-and-avoid-a-divorce-disaster/

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