Brides-to-be and grooms are preparing for their wedding. One comes from a wealthy family and next thing that happens, the groom is presented with a prenuptial agreement. The parents like the groom but say to the bride, before you walk down the aisle to marry this man; we want to protect your assets and what we have left you. We are not saying you cannot marry him, BUT you must have a prenuptial agreement in place.
Is it the parent’s place to demand the son or daughter have a prenuptial agreement? Or should the son or daughter be wise enough to know to have a prenup? Or is their relationship based on love and they are not concerned about this type of agreement? Who should be using a prenup and does it set you up for divorce?
Let’s be realistic, there are some parents who will demand explicitly their son or daughter have a prenuptial agreement in place before they marry their fiancé AND they will not move from this place. They are not saying they do not love that fiancé; however, the reason behind their wanting a prenuptial agreement because some parents have accumulated wealth, are funding trusts for their children or possibly handing over interest in family business to their children and want to ensure children’s financial interests are protected.
There are also the circumstances where there are children from a previous marriage and property that should be handed down should be protected. Furthermore, it can be used to protect the future spouse from debt. Utilizing a prenuptial agreement does not say that you are planning for your marriage to end in divorce. There are different circumstances which warrant a prenup and some circumstances that do not.
As a bride or groom, if you are presented with a prenuptial agreement and you are not a professional athlete, celebrity or even if your family does not come from wealth, there are several factors you should consider before signing this document:
1) How were you presented with the prenuptial agreement? Did you receive this document within weeks of the marriage or were you given the prenuptial agreement at least several months prior to the wedding? The timing of the document can say a lot about your future spouse. Did your future spouse hope that you were so in love with him or her that you would just sign the document and not read it? Once you read the document will you discover that you get nothing? What will you think about this person that you thought you knew so well?
2) You should consult with your own lawyer to review this document in its entirety and ask if there are clauses that need to be adjusted on the basis of fairness. It is important to make sure that it is fair on behalf of the husband and the wife.
I remember a few years ago, a friend was saying she had been presented with a prenuptial agreement and it was one-sided. This friend could not reach an agreement with her future spouse when it came to the prenuptial agreement and they ended up not getting married. Understand just like that situation, you could begin to see the true person when a prenuptial agreement is involved and even moreso if it involves money. Money tends to make people behave out of character or it is their true character.
We all know that money is a hard topic to talk about. One thing is for sure, if you are presented with a prenuptial agreement the discussion is being put on the table whether you like it or not. Does that mean a prenuptial agreement is a bad thing for you? Not necessarily. There are circumstances that call for a prenuptial and there are times when people are using it unnecessarily and causing strife. Either way, it is important that brides and grooms do their research prior to signing a prenuptial agreement. I don’t advocate signing it because you know they love you without doing your due diligence. The message behind a prenuptial agreement may be the opposite of what you thought.
Brides and grooms dealing with money matters prior to marriage:
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