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Prenuptial or Not? Why Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreements Shouldn't Be Stigmatized.

"Even if love is enough, you should still get a prenup." - Unattributed

Did you know that based on the latest studies every thirteen seconds there is one divorce in the United States? That is equal to 277 divorces per hour, 6,646 divorces per day, 46,523 divorces per week, and 2,419,196 divorces per year. To further contextualize these jarring statistics, in the time it takes a couple to recite their wedding vows (approximately two minutes) there are nine divorces that occur in that time. Additionally, in the time an average wedding reception is occurring (approximately five hours), there are 1,385 marriages that didn't have death do them part. Still think a prenuptial agreement is a bad idea?

Many people believe that a prenuptial agreement, or its less common cousin, the postnuptial agreement, is a sign that you don't "truly love" your spouse to be. That you don't have absolute faith in the concept of your love and that your love alone can withstand anything that life throws at you post-marriage. This stigma and belief is misplaced and the statistics back that up. A prenup or postnup is not a sign you do not love your fiancée/fiancé or spouse, quite the opposite, its a sign that you love each other enough to understand that life happens and if something were to happen you'd rather have your divorce predetermined instead of further destroying your relationship through emotionally and financially draining litigation.

Think of it like this. When you go out on a boat you bring life jackets, not because you expect that the boat will sink or that you will even need them, but in the offhand chance that you encounter an unforeseen emergency. If the boat begins to take on water you would be very glad that you had the foresight to bring those life vests. Without a life vest, you would be treading rough waters without a lifeline, hoping that rescue comes in time all while attempting not to drown. This is a perfect analogy for a prenup or postnup.

In this analogy, the boat is your marriage, the life vest is your prenup/postnup, the emergency is the cause of your marriage ending, and the water is the divorce litigation process. By having a valid prenup/postnup both parties will walk away from the divorce process with dignity and likely more respect for one another. The prenup/postnup takes care of almost all the issues that result in spouses fighting with each other during litigation and allows each person to move on and go about their lives without months of draining litigation.

For those who believe their love is too strong to fail, a word of advice, so did all of the couples whose marriages ended up failing. Nobody is special or immune to growing apart from someone they once loved, it is a common occurrence and one that can occur without warning. So, if you are thinking about tying the knot or are currently engaged, sit down with your fiancée/fiancé and have a serious discussion about the benefits of a prenup/postnup, it just might be the best discussion you decided to have down the road if something were to happen to your marriage.

If you or someone you know is preparing for marriage or is already married and would like to further discuss the prospect of a prenup or postnup, please do not hesitate to reach out to The Hosner Law Group for a consultation to learn more.

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