I was inspired by an episode of Marry Me, a cute sitcom on NBC. If you’re not familiar, it follows a young couple, Annie and Jake, who had been dating for six years and after a vacation together, and might I add many opportunities for a proposal, Annie finally breaks down and wonders why Jake won’t propose after all their years together. Luckily he does (E 1)...but it’s a show that provides a hilarious perspective on the romantic issues real couples experience during their courtship. Such a shame this show was cancelled...
So, here’s my question...
Are prenuptial agreements such a bad thing?
Yay you’re engaged! That moment you’ve been thinking about forever has finally happened and now you’ve adopted a newly minted title in your relationship: fiancé. I agree, the idea of drafting up a contractual agreement doesn’t necessarily spell out love and planning for a divorce is definitely not something one thinks about right when they get engaged.
Why would anyone want to plan for a marriage to fail before they even get married?
At least this is the common question, that I’ve even asked myself, prior to getting married. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at what exactly a prenup is:
Prenuptial Agreement: A contractual agreement entered into before marriage by both parties with terms and conditions as to handling property, finances, children, etc. in the event of a divorce.
Preparing A Marriage
Everyone prepares for the worst in many different ways such as life insurance, establishing a will and testament, or even purchasing family plots before death. Now, those are morbid examples, I know, but nonetheless we want to be prepared for the event that something happens to us and that our family is taken care of and doesn’t have to worry about settling the finances in a time of grief.
The same idea can be applied in marriages. In the event that you would ever have to go through something like a divorce, which I would never wish for anyone, it’s best to have the important matters such as finances, property, or even pets or children be settled beforehand. That way it’s an easy, and hopefully clean, separation for both people involved and friendships can be amicably maintained.
Pros Of A Prenup
The great part about prenups is that they outline EXACTLY what you want based on the notion that it is 100% agreed to by both you and your spouse. For us, we decided that if we were married for 10+ years that our prenup would be voided. This just continues to solidify the foundation of our marriage and that we, in fact, plan to be in this for the long haul and marriage is not a decision we made lightly or without thought and discussion.
Prenups can be amended and changed over time. Just because you have a prenup doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone and things can’t be added or changed. As long as both partners 100% agree to the new terms, your prenup can be altered to reflect changes to your family such as the addition of children.
Prenups aren’t just about the money. You don’t need to have a six-figure+ income to warrant a prenup before marriage. Sometimes it’s not about the money. The terms of your prenup are created collaboratively and agreed to by you and your spouse.
In the end, a prenup was a logical place to start for Philip and I to have the discussions that were important to us as a couple and eventual husband and wife. So, after you get the chance to change that Facebook status, talk with your fiancé about whether or not a prenup is right for you. With that being said, every relationship is different and there are varying opinions about the subject. I would love to hear what you think about prenups. Do you find them good, bad, or unnecessary in a marriage?
Also, check out these articles that talk more about the topic of prenups and it’s pros and cons: