Just for divorce or can they be positive?
Couples often ask our
views about prenuptial agreements. Pre-nups are valuable for some
couples. For others they are unnecessary.
Whether or not you decide
on a pre-nup, you may find that considering the decision together
may turn out to be something that will strengthen your relationship
many couples seek a pre-nup?
Of marriages where at
least one partner has been previously married (and these are 40
percent of marriages), about 20 percent choose a pre-nup--vs. 5
percent of first marriages (Morgan and Turner, 2001).
are their reasons?
The most obvious reason
for a pre-nup is a desire to arrive at an agreement about how to
handle a significant disparity in assets brought to the marriage
by each partner.
People bringing children
and existing assets to a marriage often would like to preserve these
assets for their children in the event of divorce or death.
Pre-nups can also help
couples where one partner is foregoing opportunity in the interest
of the marriage: The classic case is when a partner leaves or downgrades
a career to raise children, etc. But decisions to relocate for the
marriage, taking on educational, business or other debt to benefit
one partner also raise equity issues.
The best time to decide
these issues most fairly is when you're feeling very positive about
each other and have each other's best interests at heart-not when
you're upset and in conflict.
Marriage is a contract,
whether implicit or explicit. It has been said many times that the
best contracts contain the terms for dissolving the contract. Deciding
on a pre-nup is about whether you are satisfied to have terms settled
by the law of the state where you happen to reside or whether you
wish to substitute (to the degree permitted by law) your own judgment.
So considering a pre-nup may be very sensible when you feel that
the law doesn't apply well to your circumstances.
a pre-nup unromantic?
Yes, and beyond being
merely unromantic, it can also be very sensitive. For many people
it can raise issues of trust and commitment. If you really love
one another and intend to stay together, do you really need a pre-nup?
Doesn't it mean that you have reservations or doubts?
how can discussing such sensitive, non-romantic issues actually strengthen
Considering a pre-nup
is just one among many non-romantic issues that couples should discuss
together before marrying. Avoiding these financial, career and other
issues is likely to lead to problems in the future. The last thing
couples need is to be blind-sided after marriage.
It is very important
for couples to have accurate expectations. Once they begin discussing
these issues, most couples are surprised at how much they still
have to learn about each other. And make no mistake, knowing each
other well contributes mightily to marriage success.
It's okay to disagree.
Successful marriage involves learning to manage your inevitable
disagreements. You'll find our thoughts about how to manage differences
discussed elsewhere at length. You may also find it helpful to consult
our article about financial
here for related reading and references list.
helps couples learn more about practical relationship success strategies
that fit their relationship style and are comfortable for both genders.
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2003-2007, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this
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