Is a prenuptial agreement a death knell for romance or a sensible course of action in the tricky topic of financial affairs in marriage? Should more couples be open to signing prenuptial agreements before they wed?
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A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a prenup, is a signed contract that establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement eliminates battles over assets and finances after the couple splits up. A prenup is a difficult matter to broach with your partner. The last thing any couple wants to do is argue about money before they even walk down the aisle.
Negotiating a prenup is not romantic and can destroy couples’ feelings for each other forever. This is because it is purely a business deal involving harsh lawyers representing each party, yet a marriage is not a business deal. Some people may feel like they are getting the raw end of the deal, and as a result, they might end up resenting their partners.
A person who has idealistic, romantic views of love and marriage will most likely be put off by the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement before marriage. He or she is expecting a happy-ever-after fairytale and will feel deeply hurt if they discover that the partner is thinking about the possibility of divorce.
Prenups get bad rap because of two main reasons. First, a prenup communicates that the future spouse who is pushing for it is anticipating divorce. It demonstrates a lack of faith in the other partner and lack of commitment to the marriage.
It is like planning for defeat. Nobody would be thrilled to realise that their partner is already thinking about a separation even before saying ‘I do.’ No matter how much you may want the marriage to work, asking for a prenup is a sign that you are not expecting it to work. You have thrown in the towel before you even get started.
Secondly, a prenuptial agreement shows that the person initiating the prenup does not trust his partner. When all is said and done, a man who for instance insists on his future wife sign a prenup comes out as afraid that she will run off with all his money after divorce.
When you result to protecting yourself against any financial damage that your future spouse might cause after the marriage, it shows that you don’t think much of your partner. Any person would be extremely offended if they were made to sign a document which basically assumes that they are vindictive and greedy and only interested in the partner’s money.
The question of a prenup comes up mostly when there is wealth disparity between the two partners. More often than not, the wealthier partner will initiate the prenup.
Unless you are a millionaire and the woman you are marrying is a complete stranger, your suggestion of a prenup won’t be taken lightly. Having said that, a prenup can also be used to protect the interests of the less wealthy partner. Although not very romantic, in some situations, it is advisable to sign a prenup before entering into marriage. For instance, if you are planning to quit your job to take care of the children after marriage, signing a prenup may ensure that you and your children will be well taken care of if the marriage does not work.
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