“Holla we want prenup, we want prenup, it’s something you need to have, cause when she leave yo a**, she gone leave with half”~Kanye West “Gold Digger”
Kanye West is not always credited with being on the right side of any issue, but this complex artist may have been right when he directed his fans to investigate the merits of a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements tend to get a bad rap (no pun intended) but they are a great multipurpose tool for people considering marriage.
To put it in perspective, prenuptial agreements, often referred to as Prenups or Premarital contracts, have been around since the Ancient Greeks and we see its legacy in the form of the Ketubah, which has its origins in Ancient Jewish Law. They fell out of fashion only recently as opponents of premarital contracts made claim that the agreements undermined the sanctity of marriage and forced couples to enter into a marriage with an eye on divorce.
While there is some debate as to the decline or rise of the divorce rate in America, one thing we know for sure is that sometimes people do get divorced. And more often than not the result, despite what we see on Maury Pauvich, is due to the reality that couples simply fall out of love, and generally not because we don’t know who the baby’s daddy’s really is. A premarital agreement does not increase the possibility of divorce but rather serves as an insurance policy of sorts. You never want to have to use your insurance, but you’re glad it’s there just in case the marriage crashes and can’t be salvaged.
Kanye Voice “Yo Keo’vonne, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but don’t prenups hose the party who is at an economic disadvantage?”
A prenup is an agreement like any other and can be negotiated and redrafted until both parties feel they are satisfied with the agreement. Remember, a premarital agreement must be entered into voluntarily and without coercion. It must be a written agreement, signed in front of witnesses. It cannot be unconscionable and both parties should consult an attorney who has their interest in mind.
A prenup can actually help provide for a spouse when the marriage ends. We typically think of prenups as a tool to shield assets, but they can be used in the reverse. A prenup can enable a spouse to have property rights in inherited property that would ordinarily escape a community property designation.
Prenuptial agreements are also a great way to preempt a drawn out and unsettling divorce. The financial details of a separation or divorce can be worked out while the couple is very much in love. The idea is that if the couple is making the hard decisions before they are being dictated by bitter emotions, they will make smarter and less destructive choices about how to end their marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are like any other contract because they can be amended or ended. Terms can include a sunset clause that voids the prenuptial agreement after a number of years of marriage. Terms can also be drafted to incrementally blend assets or increase/decrease financial obligations according to preset triggers like the birth of a child, infidelity and even a relapse of drug use.
So sure a bouquet of roses is sweet, but if you want to show your partner that you care holla “WE WANT PRENUP, WE WANT PRENUP!” Don’t really do that…an open and honest conversation should do the trick.