Ninety nine percent of the people who contact me about prenuptial agreements are men. And over the course of my twenty-five years of practice as an attorney, only two women have initiated the prenuptial planning process.
This means, approximately .000002% of an estimated one million brides in California walked into my office before their weddings and said, “Helene, I’m getting married, and I want a prenuptial agreement.”
What does this say about us ladies?
Does it say we’re hopeful romantics, superstitious, in denial or most significantly, senselessly taking risks that are, in my mind, akin to having unprotected sex, smoking cigarettes, and driving without wearing seat belts?
It tells me we’re foolishly putting ourselves in jeopardy. And for what?
If you’re ready this because you’re engaged or may soon become a domestic partner, ask yourself these questions:
With divorce rates hovering at 50%, 60%, and 70%, WHY do you want to throw caution to the wind or pull the wool over your eyes?
Do you think you’ll never get divorced? I, and most of my clients never dreamed we’d get divorced, but lo and behold, we’re divorced. And no, I didn’t have a prenup, which placed me at risk of financial harm and influenced the outcome in my case.
Does the thought of discussing the end of your marriage make your stomach churn because you hate the idea of it or fear your fiance’s preferences? I was nervous about broaching the conversation with my former fiance, but I did it, and I want you to do the same.
I know you’re an incredibly powerful and capable woman who can move mountains and cross chasms. And, I want you to seize the opportunity to write the terms of your marital partnership agreement and, in the event, control the dissolution of your civil union.
Prenuptial agreements are like seat belts, parachutes, and oxygen masks on airplanes.
Choosing to use a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you don’t trust your beloved or believe your marriage will fail. Crafting a marital partnership agreement means you’re pragmatic, that you care about yourself, prefer to be cautious, and want to reduce the risks of harm in the event of divorce.
Asking your fiance to discuss and sign a prenuptial agreement means you want to confirm that your fiance is an ideal match, and if not, gives you the opportunity to choose not to marry. –Yes, I believe men and women who do not agree on how income, assets, expenses and debt will be managed during marriage and in the event of divorce should not marry. Why?
Because I can tell you hundreds of heartbreaking stories about women whose husbands or wives cheated on them, lied to them, hid money, ran up debt, stopped supporting their families, were verbally, mentally and sometimes, physically abusive, reneged on verbal agreements they made before and during marriage or did countless other unscrupulous things that left these women out in the cold and scraping by.
I know you’re thinking this will never happen to you because you are ___________ and your fiance is _________. But it doesn’t matter.
There is a 50%, 60% or 70% chance that it will happen to you even if you’re smart, upper or middle class, educated, come from good homes, go to church, give back to the community….etc.
It can happen to you and if it does, I want the dissolution of your marriage to be as peaceful as possible, and the next chapter of your life to be prosperous.
Don’t get me wrong. If you choose to marry, I want your marriage to be strong, fulfilling, and stand the test of time. –I believe in love and connection and partnership.– I just want you to write the terms of your legal marital partnership. I want you to kick fear to the curb and embrace prenuptial agreements.
Don’t be scared. Choose to use a prenuptial agreement.
The strongest relationships are those with clear expectations and understandings. Prenuptial agreements are the perfect tool to help clarify your intentions and memorialize agreements on the road to happily ever after.