We strongly recommend a pre-nuptial agreement for all couple before they get married. I have learned a lot about these agreements over the months, and we think everyone should have a legal contract, whether they are low income or wealthy.
We have written about fraud, scams, and illusions and lies. But relationships can often involve people taking advantage of the other person, and some can so bad that they can even probably be considered frauds. This is where a pre-nuptial can help protect both parties, in particular the one with more to lose as roughly 50% or more of marriages end in divorce. And if the relationship was built on one person being targeted, you can bet it will end in a divorce. We wrote on different types of nuptial agreements too.
The other night I returned to Mt Pleasant from a quick, but very, very long distance overseas trip covering countless miles and went to a local brewery with a few friends/acquaintances. We meet up maybe once a month at a different brewery to explore the area. But the topic of relationships, marriage and divorce came up and one of the guys there told me his story.
He is twice divorced. He told me the second marriage lasted a few months. Apparently he knew the woman beforehand maybe 1.5 years and things seemed going well, she seemed nice, kind, motivated, etc. so he proposed, she accepted, and they got married. But he said as soon as they were married she did a 180 degree. He claimed everything about her changed, and she was not who he thought she was. She became controlling, did not do “anything” (did not hold a job, help around house, etc.), her personality changed, etc. They did not have a pre-nuptial agreement.
He felt like he was targeted by this woman. Even though they knew each other for over a year before proposing, once the arrangement became “legal” through marriage (and assets were on the line), the true personality came of the woman out. He was middle income/class (not rich), but still strongly suspects he was targeted. He said he did not lose too much in way of assets, but he was still exposed. I felt horrible for him.
It was a very timely story for me personally to hear as I have been learning more over the last several months about people, relationships, truthfulness, manipulation, and similar topics. People have lost trust in me as I wrote about, but I also lost trust in others due to deceit and other issues I have faced. So I know this issue of targeting and illusions is a real possibility.
Why get a pre-nuptial?
This is just one example of where a pre-nuptial can help. While he fought the divorce in court, and said he did OK in court as the marriage was so short, the process would have been much easier with a pre-nuptial.
Even if you are living check to check today, like the vast majority of Americans, or have a low income, few assets, etc. you may think why do I need a pre-nuptial? I say get one anyway, as maybe you are struggling/low income today but maybe (hopefully!) your circumstances will change. I would be an example of that. While I was doing well after college from investments, etc. most of my millions in wealth was made later in life.
Say you have $1000 saved today, when dating and you get married. But if you then launch a business, get a better education and make more money, etc. and earn/save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the following years, those assets are split 50 – 50 or so in most states. A pre-nuptial agreement spells out what happens both short and long term.
While there can be a cost to creating an agreement, it can often be minimal and/or even done online. It can be more of an informal process.
The point is to protect both people as divorce rates are so high. And for everyone who says they will never get divorced, note no one (unless being targeted) goes into a marriage planning to be divorced…so everyone feels the same. The nuptial, and minimal expense, helps protect both spouses as time goes on.