Once I had calmed down (about three months later), I sat and considered it reasonably. I realized that my emotions were high because of three things:
- I had never had a reasonable amount of money in my life. How could I possibly value something I had never had?! How could I feel protective over hard earned money when I simply didn’t have any?
- Part of me still believes in the fairy tale of romance. The idea of a prenup somehow diminishes the faint glow that surrounds my happy ever after. Yes, I have my glass slipper all ready and waiting for my prince! I still believe in romance, in ‘what’s yours is mine’ and vice versa. A prenup taints my vision. Distorting it into something that leaves a nasty, bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
- Well, it is simply an insult isn’t it?! Or is it?! That rather depends on your outlook. Some suggest it is pre-emptive of a break up, displaying trust issues and a lack of belief in the longevity of marriage. Others would say it is protecting an investment that you have worked hard to accrue. Okay, that is three points so I fibbed a little there. Just because I fibbed a little doesn’t mean I am marrying you for your money! Okay, perhaps I am still feeling a tad insulted!
So I sat and thought about the purpose of a prenup, and did as much research as I could into why anyone would even consider a prenup. I even contacted this divorce lawyer for expert advice on what I should expect.
Throwing all thoughts of a crazy ex shafting me out of my mind, I realize that protecting your assets is actually really important. I started to consider, what if I was loaded?! What if I had worked my delicate(ish) backside off, all of my life, and wanted to protect my assets. Would I want a prenup in the event of marriage? ‘Hell yeah’ screams the stubborn, inner me!
Confronted with this hypocritical knowledge I am rather stunned with myself. What is wrong with me?!
Upon further reflection, it hits me like a thunderbolt out of the blue and knocks me off my feet. Whilst I am happy to share my wealth with my spouse, the one who stands by my side in a partnership, hopefully for many wonderful happy years, there is no way in hell, would I want to be in the position to have to pay HIM money should he decide to trade me in for a younger, prettier (yeah right!) model. Worse still, would I want him spending money that I had earned, on other women?! ‘Hell. NO!’
I then consider any added influences like children (naturally I will have a family like the Walton’s!), and/or any elder relatives that would require care. A prenup is not just to safeguard your future but their futures too!
A prenup is supposed to be fair to all parties. That’s all good and well, but what might be fair to Ma Walton, may not particularly be what Pa Walton wants to give! With this in mind, a prenuptial agreement should probably be discussed before any nuptials are planned. I am a classic example of how just one word can turn you into someone ready to grab a pitchfork, demented and defensive. Just one word ‘Prenup’ took time to absorb and disseminate. Communication really is the key, to establishing the reason why you would like to consider a prenup in the first place, but timing is important if you are to garner a true reflection of how your intended spouse feels about it. I certainly would not recommend slipping an envelope through the door on the eve of your wedding expecting a signature.
If a Prenuptial agreement was placed before me, that was fair to all parties, then I honestly do not believe I would have any problems with signing it. I would consider it a contract, there to protect the interests of both my spouse and myself. It would take into account any contributing factors regarding children and close family members and any needs that they would have. Furthermore, if the prenup was approached in a respectful and communicative manner, I would probably find it a lot easier to deal with.
I still believe in romance. I still believe in happily ever after. But if a prenup is what my spouse wanted, provided it was fair to all concerned, I would happily sign on the dotted line.
This article was written in association with Punam Denley of Blanchards Law, an expert divorce lawyer specializing in divorce, separation, children, and financial disputes. This account tells the story of an amalgamation of a number of clients that Punam has worked with.