Prenups; Closing the Door To An Easy Way Out

A friend of mine is getting married soon and faced with the infamous option to get a prenuptial agreement. You know, the one most of us would shoot down in honor of our commitment ” ’til death do us part”. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, determine how valuable assets will be divided in a divorce. When there is no prenup, usually somebody leaves with more than he or she earned during the marriage. For example: Kobe Bryant’s marriage. So if you believe in happily ‘ever after, then you may see prenups as unnecessary or even a red flag that somebody’s bracing for a divorce. But do prenups really mean you expect the marriage to end prematurely? Well, does wearing a seatbelt mean you expect to wreck? No. I understand that you don’t go into a marriage entertaining the possibility that it won’t work, but believe it or not…

Prenuptial agreements facilitate longevity in marriage.

When you get married, you expect certain odds to come against you; Arguments, temptations, etc. Those odds are incentives to divorce depending on the seriousness. The absence of a prenup’ leaves a one sided incentive to whoever, during the marriage, is worth less(no pun intended). Of course, nobody’s thinking about that at the altar. But what happens when those other odds come knocking?  “For better or worse, through thick and thin” means no matter what, we’re supposed to find a way to work through it. Think about those marriages that ended in huge settlements, and how much more willing someone would’ve been to work things out if there were millions of dollars less to gain by quitting. In cases like Kobe Bryant’s, a divorce was practically a lottery ticket waiting to be cashed in. Don’t you think that in the wake of a serious argument, $150 million might be an incentive to throw in the towel? Just a little

Most of the “no-prenup” advocates out there see it as a liability reliever when we want to excuse our marriage vows. This implies that we just want a safety net so we don’t have too much to lose. Well, a prenuptial agreement is the least of your worries if he’s more afraid of divorcing his wallet than divorcing you. Having one doesn’t always have to be preparation for an inevitable “post marriage” situation, but instead it gives you a better chance of never having to worry about that.

Would you leave your extremely attractive and single girlfriend home alone with your husband for a few days while you’re off on a business trip? Assuming that you said (hell) no, I’d say it’s not because you don’t trust him, but you wouldn’t want to even have to worry about that. Leaving them there and alone is conducive to a situation you’d rather not happen. Leaving someone in the marriage to have something to gain from getting a divorce is conducive to a situation you’d…..(finish the sentence).


-Derrick Jaxn

6 thoughts on “Prenups; Closing the Door To An Easy Way Out

  1. I agree 100%. Knowing from jump what you’re getting into and what you stand lose makes one work even harder to keep it. Especially if there are kids involved.
    To finish the sentence……..I’d never be a part of. Takes two hands to clap. 🙂

  2. Definitely a different spin on it… Just think that the one wanting a prenup is more concerned Or should I say overly concerned with securing their assets and not the sacred values of what a marriage “should be”. For me I would definitely see it a RED FLAG, and would most definitely re-think if HE is the one for me. :)?

  3. An interesting post, sweets! I don’t necessarily disagree, but I thought I might just share a bit from a legal perspective, since I used to work in Family Law (mostly on divorce proceedings):

    A common misnomer some people have with prenups is that they’re barred from any recovery and will ultimately be left with nothing. Destitute? Probably not. Came in with nothing, leave with nothing. But, even with a prenup, that’s not typically true — you leave with SOMEthing.

    Often, if someone is coming into a marriage owning property or assets, a prenup isn’t necessary to protect them, but it can be another useful tool. Anything owned prior to marriage is separate property, so as long as marital (community) funds aren’t used to pay for a portion of your separate property (mortgage) or aggregated with your assets (commingled bank accounts) you can prove separate property and retain your assets. Depending on what you have, it can be tough, but remember, this is based on what you own PRIOR to marriage. There is a heavy presumption of community property on anything acquired during the marriage.

    That presumption covers earnings, property, etc that you came to earn or purchase during a marriage. It’s all community property. A prenup is meant to cover things you had before a marriage, not things your marital unit acquired during. Though some do try to contract away their rights in a prenup.

    Things that change the scope of a prenup are important to note: children, whether there is a long-term marriage (10 years or more means a larger settlement and/or alimony), some write in fidelity clauses, etc. Obviously there are more caveats than I’m describing here.

    The best advice I could give someone approached with a prenup proposal would be to have their own, separate attorney review the document. You don’t want to sign away what you really are entitled to for lack of due diligence. And I’m not saying that because one made a ton of money you deserve a nice big check — I’m saying legally you are entitled to your share of the community.

    A prenup is often fair in its terms, but usually the offensive part is how it is delivered. Often, the prospect of marriage is conditioned upon a signature and this happens without some honest communication about what one person wants to protect. The ultimatum approach is likely to end the relationship, and not because one is a gold digger, but because there wasn’t enough communication about the request. One may have more assets, but the other shouldn’t be treated like they’re worth less.

    Keep writing! 😉

    • Wow, that was very enlightening! But just to be clear, the article wasn’t referring to a right way to handle post-marriage. It’s conditioning an entirely new way of seeing pre-nups for those people who still don’t want to entertain a separation at any point in the marriage. More of a preventative measure of what would could be an incentive to give up during vulnerable emotions of heightened anger or deepened sadness. Like “Baby I don’t care what happens to my money or things after we divorce because if we divorce then all of this means nothing anyway. But if we can close a door to what may seem like a way out during our hard times, then it’s worth doing because I’m in this for the long haul” type stuff. Feel me Simone?

  4. I never thought about it like this, however I would never get a prenup. I guess because I don’t believe in divorcing whoever I end up marrying. When you say your vowels you should mean them. Also before you got married you both already had your own money. His money will always be his money and what he chooses to do with it is his choice. My money will be our money because I know I’ll be spending some of it on him, the bills, and the kids.

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