Prenups: Half of Nothing is Nothing

Last week, a friend of mine decided to start a twitter war on the topic of prenuptial agreements.  Most women were against the agreements.  Most men were for them.  There are no surprises there.  However, I think the women’s reasons against prenups hold little weight in reality.  The typical response was “I don’t want you planning for a divorce before we get married.”  Or “you can’t love me and not trust that I wouldn’t take all your money.”  But someone made a very profound statement, “The person you marry is not the person you divorce.”
I have never been married.  I’ve only been in a few long-term relationships, and even with a civil break up there is something as a woman that feels like I am owed something more than what I walked into the relationship.  In the uncivil break-up, I wanted everything- even the stuff I didn’t want.  I just wanted to ensure he had nothing.  I didn’t take everything, but I WANTED to.  We were no longer the same people that we were when we entered the relationship.  I can only imagine that the ending of a marriage would bring out the very worst in people.
The person who started this heated debated equated a prenup to getting insurance on a home.  No one in their right mind would buy a house without thorough and comprehensive home insurance.  However, a home is a financial investment while marriage is a spiritual and emotional investment that requires undeniable faith that it will work before hand.
I always think it is funny the people that are most adamant about prenups have little to no money.  In fact, prenuptial agreements with less than $250,000 in assets are rare.  Most can’t even afford to pay a lawyer to draw up the papers, yet alone have an accountant that can hand over a list of assets.  This eliminates 70% of the people out of the argument because most of the time when people get married, they both have very little to their name.  Financially, nothing is at stake.  What is going to be on the prenup?  I get the couch, you get the television??  My point is that most people will acquire things because of the support of their spouse and it is hard to put a value on that prior to having it established.
Reason and logic are not completely out of the window on this matter because there are cases where a prenuptial may be warranted, even advised.
1)       There is more than a $250,000 differential in annual income. If am pushing the upper 6-digit income and you are the most awesome 7th grade teacher, I am getting a prenup.  That is unless the administration passes a bill to pay teachers what they deserve, but until then- prenup!
2)       You’re marrying a recovering jump-off. People can change.  It might be true love.  But if you know that person is prone to cheating and or smashing the homie(s), then a prenup is strongly advised.
3)       Non-renewable income. Let’s say someone wins the lottery.  Since it is not a renewable source of revenue, I would want a prenup just in case you squander yours away while I hire an accountant and lawyer to protect my investments.
In conclusion, a prenup does not guarantee you will avoid getting taken for everything.  A golddigger WILL find a way.  If all else fails…there is always child support.  Kelis.

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