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Why Tom got a prenup to prevent divorce

Posted on April 17th, 2018 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Let’s call him Tom, a smart guy who is getting married this summer and wants a prenup. A prenuptial, also called premarital agreement, and is a contract between people getting married, as a family attorney can attest. Most people who have never entered into a prenuptial agreement before marriage, or a post-nuptial agreement during a marriage, may believe everything they see in television and movies. On screen, the people who ask for premarital agreements are oil barons with money some people might kill to get. The plot twist is that if something were to happen to the spouse with the money or the marriage were to end, the other spouse may not receive a huge pay day and most of the money would be tied up in trust for the children.

In real life, a prenup is more common than people realize, and you do not need to be wealthy to benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Tom decided to ask for a prenup to prevent divorce by eliminating questions about what might happen if his marriage to Sue were to end. The biggest reason Tom wanted a prenup is because his marriage to Sue is not his first.

A prenup is a contract

Two people forming a prenup can include language in their contractual agreement regarding money and property distribution among spouses. What you can include in a prenup is almost limitless, with a few exceptions. You cannot contract away child support obligations, and as a matter of policy we do not children suffering because of a terminated marriage. You may also not use a prenup to contract around child custody and visitation, which is the exclusive jurisdiction of the court.

Do many marital fights arise out of insecurity?

People generally dislike insecurity. Much of the reason many people marry in the first place is to be with a lover and mate with whom they feel safe, secure. People marry with the intent of being together until death do they part. When tensions spike and anger flies people can threaten to divorce or leave the other which can cause hostility and insecurity. Some say, “I will bury you and court and take half of everything you have or more.” When there is more to have and lose the threat becomes stronger and might escalate to the end of the marriage.

Knowing where you stand reduces the risk of threatening your spouse

Tom knows that Sue is not interested in the money and property he accumulated during his first marriage. Tom is very sure that he wants his assets to provide for his three children for years to come. Since Sue has her own money and career, there may be less insecurity over what may happen if the marriage were to end.

For Tom and Sue, the prenup they signed protects each other and Tom’s children in the event of the end of the marriage by death or divorce. With little to hold over one another, the threat of divorce is not so prevalent, and each know they could go their own ways if things didn’t work out.

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