There are people who find the mere suggestion of a prenuptial agreement to be an affront to the sanctity of marriage. Despite evidence that a significant number of marriages — most of which people entered in good faith — still end in divorce, there is a social stigma attached to the creation of a prenuptial agreement.
People’s attitudes about prenuptial agreements don’t really align with reality. The social stigma attached to the creation of a prenuptial agreement doesn’t really reflect the functions and benefits of such documents for couples who do divorce.
A prenuptial agreement is like an employment contract
When you get married, the behavior of your spouse will have an impact on your financial success and your emotional health. Mistakes by your spouse could have lasting repercussions for your entire household. Taking on a spouse, in short, results in some degree of liability and risk.
The same is true of a company hiring a new worker. Workers can be a liability if they don’t do their job properly or abuse other people on staff. The company may hope for the best but will still have that worker execute an employment contract that outlines their expectations for the work relationship and helps guide the end of the relationship if someone quits or gets fired.
A prenuptial agreement will largely follow the same rules. It helps advise both spouses of the expectations for the marriage and will simplify the process of separating the lives of the spouses if they get divorced. Additionally, it lets people set the terms for the end of the relationship at a time when they still have mutual respect and affection.
A good prenuptial agreement might strengthen your marriage
When people experience the so-called “seven-year itch” after years of monogamy or a midlife crisis possibly decades into a relationship, they might start to fantasize about the single life or how divorce could result in both a windfall and freedom.
Having a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement on record will remove some of the romance and mystery associated with a divorce, since your spouse will know exactly what the outcome of asset division will be. After all, you already set those terms. That knowledge might be enough to dissuade them from acting out of some desperate desire for adventure or novelty.
If you need to draft a prenuptial agreement or if you worry about enforcing one in a potential upcoming divorce, speaking with an attorney about your family situation and the contents of your prenuptial agreement now may help you finesse your approach to the situation.