A Woman’s Perspective: “To Prenup or Not to Prenup, That is the Question”

**Today’s post is a guest post contributed by a fan of ThaWell**

A prenuptial agreement, by general definition is an agreement/contract that is entered into pre-marriage or civil union. The content of the prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but is intended to give up future rights of each other’s property and spousal support in the event of divorce, breakup of marriage or death.

Prenuptial agreements also vary from state to state, county and even religion. Some states/counties recognize prenuptial agreements as legal contracts, while others view them as civil. Other counties/states allow prenuptial agreements, but limit what can be included, and others will not/do not enforce the contract. In some religions, prenuptial agreements are an integral part of the marriage and are even read and signed during the marriage ceremony. Other religions view prenups as being outside the vision of marriage, the “covenant” (not contract) of marriage is “one-flesh” with traditional wedding vows of certain religions including “with all my worldly goods I thee endow.”

Ok, now that the facts have been covered, let’s have an ordinary conversation. Why is it that when prenups are discussed, it’s assumed that it is the man that needs to protect his assets? What about mine! What about a Woman’s assets!

While more and more men are sitting home playing video games and refusing to work or wanting to be the stay at home dad, so they don’t have to work, all result in the women being the bread winners. Women should begin protecting their assets and insisting on prenups themselves!! “We Want Prenup, We Want Prenup!!”  In the words of Kanye West’s song, Gold Digger.

With that being said, I also believe that I am not privy to my “husband’s” assets acquired pre marriage. I had no hand in his pre-marriage successes, or lack thereof; therefore they should remain his and his alone. Now if he “chooses” to share premarital asserts with me… “Momma Ain’t Raise No Fool”!

I recently told a girlfriend, I would sooner burn my house to the ground before I allowed anyone to take it! Now, while I was being silly and extreme, that’s how much my house means to me and how strongly I feel about the subject. I worked awfully hard to achieve my personal goal, with help from no one. I also have memories in my home with someone that has since transitioned. So is it so bad that I want to protect what I worked hard for? Or a place where irreplaceable memories took place?

This not to say, should the marriage dissolve, you leave with what you and you alone brought in.  It is my opinion that this is not even possible; a couple should acquire more during the course of the marriage. Both parties should leave with what you came in with, in addition to assets acquired during the marriage, whether or not you specifically earned them. In a marriage someone is always compromising and or sacrificing. For example, if the husband is always at work and the wife is home, whether she be cooking, cleaning, caring for the family or just plain old sitting there, she is sacrificing. Even if the sacrifice was time, one should be entitled to compensation, if and or when the marriage dissolves the assets should be divided as the parties deem appropriate at that time.

Some would argue, if a prenuptial agreement is requested, should one even be entering marriage. Why do you need a prenuptial agreement? Do you not trust your partner? He/she should be privy to all of your assets. If you say you love this person and want to spend the rest of your life with him/her, Love will conquer all. All you need is Love. Love will not drain the bank account or take all of your property.

Is this true?

It is my opinion that prenuptial agreements surmise to whether the soon to be wed parties are viewing the prenuptial agreement emotionally (feelings) or rationally (intelligent). Many would argue that the women would look at the prenup “emotionally”; if you truly love me you would not want a prenup or why don’t you trust me. While, the man would see the prenup as “rational”, if you truly loved me, then you would have no problem signing a prenup, my money or assets would not matter to you.

So the question remains to prenup or not to prenup? With the American population marrying later in life, gaining assets prior to taking vows and with the divorce rate at an all time high of fifty percent; One would reason that the smarter choice is to sign a prenuptial agreement before entering the contact of marriage, in an effort to protect what has already been acquired prior to marrying Mr. or Mrs. Right.

At the close of the day, whether we care to admit it, or whether it is male or female, we all share the fairy tale of meeting someone and falling in love. We look forward to engagement and entering a marriage, union, contract or covenant, where an infinite amount of love, respect, trust, and security exist and there would be no accommodations for thought of a prenuptial agreement. A comfy space where you would know both emotionally and rationally that divorce/separation is not an option.

To Prenup or Not To Prenup? You Decide…

Just my thoughts and opinions,

-RettaMarki

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15 Comments

    • Shakeemah
      May 3, 2013

      It was very refreshing to read your article. Hope to obtain your opinion in the future regarding an array of topics

      Reply
    • Diane B.
      May 3, 2013

      A very thought provoking article on a sometimes touchy topic. I think this article was well presented shedding light on both the female and male perspective. I look forward to future articles!

      Reply
    • Marlene
      May 4, 2013

      As a woman who has worked hard to accomplish my dreams and build my assessts, I feel they should be protected too. Great article, so proud of you!

      Reply
    • Dennia
      May 4, 2013

      I enjoyed reading your article. It’s very interesting to obtain a woman’s point of view on this topic. Well written.

      Reply
    • Sadio Patterson
      May 5, 2013

      After reading the pros n cons on prenups my perspective is less distorted…this is an interesting article n I’m definitely going to share it with my group…Keep up the good work Retta…Most essentially keep em coming:-)

      Reply
    • Stac
      May 6, 2013

      I say “PRENUP IT UP”!!! The article is very true and should open a lot of peoples (men & womens) minds. We as women have a lot to offer and give and we never stop to think about the “what if’s”……we are so focused on pleasing the ones we love but we need to protect our assets as well as the next person. It is good to have things together, but it’s great knowing that if the “what if’s” happen you will still be ok in the financial area 🙂 Just don’t make it a focal point of the relationship…..great job and topic sis

      Reply
    • Alison Z
      May 6, 2013

      Hmmm…..very interesting article. Makes you think. Well researched – I wasn’t aware that prenups are viewed/ enforced differently depending on the county, state, etc. Such a well written article and an easy read – I especially liked the touches of humor used throughout the article. When can we expect more articles, RettaMarki????

      Reply
    • Miss Pink
      May 8, 2013

      I also think this article is very timely and extremely well written. However, as an attorney, I’d like to clarify a few things. The concept of a prenuptial agreement is separate and apart from Equitable Distribution and Community Property (where I’ve learned most of the confusion lies).

      Equitable Distribution is a division of the marital assets AND debts (many seem to forget about that one) once the marriage has dissolved. Here, the court will look at all the property that has been acquired during the course of the marriage and divide it equitably. For example, if the reason for the dissolution of the marriage was due to infidelity or abuse, a court may award a greater share of the marital assets to the harmed spouse. Or, if one spouse has sole custody of the children, a court might award that spouse the family home. Basically, the court will analyze all the circumstances and determine what amount is fair to award the parties. However, keep in mind, Equitable Distribution does NOT take into account property owned before the marriage. Property obtained before the marriage is considered your separate property and you will ALWAYS walk away with at least that.

      Community Property (which is only followed by a handful of jurisdictions – Texas, Louisiana, California [off the top of my head]), is where the court will split the marital assets down the center….period. There are no considerations and/or weighing the equities of anything. The man gets 50% and the woman gets 50%; court adjourned!

      Now, prenuptial agreements are contracts in which the parties predetermine what they will walk away from in the event of divorce, marital infidelity, or even if they win the lottery. These agreements are generally very useful when one spouse makes significantly more than the other. For example, if a Movie Star marries a waitress, and if no prenuptial agreement is in place, AND the couple resides in a Community Property state, like Hollywood, that waitress will walk away with HALF of that Movie Stars earnings! The waitress doesn’t get the money the Movie Star earned before the marriage (because that is separate property), but any money that the Movie Star made while married to the waitress is considered “income acquired during the course of the marriage” and will be split equally down the center. Period.

      Accordingly, it is important to know which type of state you reside in, to determine how an icky situation like divorce will affect your assets. As for me, I do not plan on getting a prenuptial agreement. If I have to plan for a divorce PRIOR to getting married, perhaps Mr. Right, isn’t so right.

      Reply
      • Lii
        May 9, 2013

        So basically whatever you bring into a marriage (house, car, debt) you walk away with prenup or not? Prenups are soley to negotiate assets aquired during marriage?

        Reply
        • Lii
          May 9, 2013

          *acquired

        • lii
          May 9, 2013

          Thanks for the knowledge! In that case I’d rather actively prepare for a “death do us part” marriage over a “happy divorce”….I honestly dont’t think you can fully commit to doing both. When times get rough, and it will, an exit plan makes it easier and more tempting to do just that…exit

    • Nnise
      May 9, 2013

      Great article! This is usually a topic that is difficult for a woman to have with a man. It was informative and I hope to read something else from you in the near future. Keep up the good work and Congrats Retta!!!!

      Reply
    • Marquis
      May 16, 2013

      This article was well written. As a male we share similar views on this complicated subject, however my views does differ in some ways. My views are based on generational, geographical, and wealth. Nevertheless, It is amazing to see a independent female’s perspective on prenups. Well done.

      Reply

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