“We will celebrate our 20th anniversary next year. Our prenup is still a valid enforceable contract. Yet I do appreciate that several years after we married, my father-in-law told me he was totally comfortable with me tearing up the prenup. He didn’t worry about the stability of our marriage or the risk of the practice being sold anymore. That meant a lot to me. But I didn't need to hear it. And I decided it wasn’t worth hiring an attorney to dissolve our prenup (because physically destroying a copy of it isn’t sufficient). I’m proud that I was able to negotiate something of value when I gave up my right to any ownership interest in the family business. I also won’t bristle if my daughters’ future partners request a prenup. In fact, I might even suggest it to my daughters as a way to explicitly discuss and anticipate how to handle marital finances both during and after a marriage ends.”
How is it possible that the love of my life would ever screw me? It all depends on the reason/motivation for marriage. In the movie “It Could Happen to You” the husband wins the lottery of $4 million and the wife takes him to court to keep it for herself. She divorces him, marries a gold digger, who takes the money and runs. Imagine what a prenup might have done?
A prenup is meant to protect assets from falling into the wrong hands. As high as the divorce rate is, the dividing of the assets can become a very emotional and financial burden on both parties. Compound that when one owns a business, the lawyers have a hay day. Property is often sold rather than relinquished to either party. In fact divorce can be on parity with a will, when one party gets greedy.
What is missing in too many marriages is the commitment to make it work; or the inability to make it work. Instead of growing together, the couple grows apart – each with his/her own career, set of friends, hobbies, etc. They end up co-existing until one finds another lover, gets a divorce, and the cycle starts all over again.
A happily married couple isn’t without their trials and tribulations, but are genuinely happy when they are together resolving whatever problems are in front of them. But this doesn’t happen by happenstance – it requires focus and determination. The ‘love bug’ wears off rather quickly when economic and family issues start to dominate the relationship. And it is then that the metal of the relationship has to prevail.