An increasing number of couples are planning their divorce at the same time they’re planning their wedding. How? By hammering out a pre-nuptial agreement before they walk down the aisle.
Statistics show that half of all marriages end in divorce. And with people getting married later than ever – or entering into second marriages - they’re bringing a lot more to the table: everything from businesses, to real estate, to kids. And 36% of adults say they’d want a pre-nup to make sure they don’t lose what’s theirs if they divorce.
But these days, pre-nups aren’t just about how to divide up the assets if the marriage fails. They often spell out how both parties agree to behave during the marriage - from how late they can come home from work to how many home-cooked meals they’ll make every week. One man we read about agreed to pay his wife $25,000 for every year she stayed off cocaine. Ten years later, she’s already socked away $250,000! And another woman added a clause that if they divorce, she gets $100,000 - but if he cheats on her, the payout doubles.
Financial expert Suze Orman says that every couple should sign a prenuptial agreement. She says it’s important to protect your assets, and the time to plan for a potential split is when you’re happy - not when the relationship has crumbled, and there are hard feelings. But not everyone is in favor of pre-nups. Marriage mediator Laurie Israel calls them dangerous and says they cause undue stress in a relationship. And some people are getting carried away, like adding clauses that limit how much weight a spouse can gain before it’s grounds for divorce. Mediator Israel says outlandish clauses undermine a marriage rather than support it and are usually requested by someone who’s very insecure.
So what do you think? Is a pre-nup smart – or hedging your bets before you walk down the aisle?