Monday, June 07, 2010


A few months ago, at my boss's request, I drafted my first (and hopefully last) prenuptial agreement for a couple in their late 60s. The initial meeting was awkward as I attempted to determine why exactly they needed such an agreement given their very modest assets. I finally learned that one of the parties wanted to ensure that a residence would ultimately become her children's property upon her death.

As we proceeded to draft the prenuptial agreement and wills, things, at least in my mind, went downhill. At one point, I found us itemizing who had paid what portions of items they'd jointly purchased and what they had assured me was a simple will and prenuptial agreement quickly became complicated and petty. Her resentment and their lack of communication became evident. The agreement was finalized and signed just hours before their wedding.

Guess what? After three months of marriage, they are calling it quits. One of the parties has called and asked me to handle the annulment or divorce, but thankfully our firm is conflicted out since I drafted the prenuptial agreement and wills (plus I generally do not handle domestic matters). I know that I'm unaware of the circumstances but three months?

So there you have it. Prenuptial agreements are written in contemplation and preparation of divorce*. Blake & I haven't discussed how we would like for the dissolution of marriage to occur because we do not plan on that happening. We don't want a contingency plan or escape hatch. I have to wonder if this couple spent nearly the time or resources trying to save (or plan for) their marriage that they did on this prenuptial agreement. I wonder how the divorce rate of couples with prenuptial agreements compare to the typical rate. Regardless I'm hoping this couple will reconsider and give their marriage more than a few months of effort.

p.s. I'm grateful that the sun is out today and that I only have 2 more days of work after today.

* I realize there are sometimes extraordinary circumstances that may necessitate a prenuptial agreement to protect a shared family asset, etc.


HappyascanB said...

Completely agree with you. How sad that they spent so much time on how to split assets and a short 3 months later, they're divorcing.

Tim and I didn't do any sort of prenup, either. One we have very little, but most importantly, we didn't enter into this marriage lightly and thinking well, if it doesn't work out, then we'll do this or this. Nope. It's a lifetime commitment. No questions asked.

I'm so excited for you! Praying this week is full of fun, love and special memories as you prepare for Saturday!!

Trish said...

I agree, Allison. I think if you are thinking about a prenup you must be preparing for divorce, which is a terrible way to start a marriage! But all I can think about when I saw the title to this post was Travis singing the "Goldigger" lyrics:
(If you aint no punk holla We Want Prenup
It's something that you need to have
Cause when she leave yo butt she gone leave with half)
Thought you'd get a kick out of that :)

cdp said...

Mark and I will not be drafting one either, nor have we discussed it, nor have we discussed the D word.

I'm with you 100% on this post.

It's getting so close! I'm so excited for you!


TC said...

I think so many people just look at divorce as something that WILL happen, not that can be avoided.

I knew a girl once (we were friends at the time, we aren't now), who referred to her husband as "her starter husband."

She wasn't kidding. She saw divorce as inevitable.

Ally said...

B: Thank you for your prayers :) I am so glad it's almost here!

Trish: Those lyrics crossed my mind several times when I was writing this.

CDP: Fun to read a comment from you! I've missed you.

TC: Sigh. A few years ago I went to a wedding in which that sort of dismal attitude prevailed, and it was so hard to bring myself to attend the wedding much less feel celebratory or buy them a gift. I ended up buying them an awesome sermon series on marriage. I hope it's helped (or been listened to).

OK Chick said...

A starter husband. Ah that's horrible. Sadly, I heard my boss say something similar to a younger coworker. My younger coworker was about to get married, and my boss said the 1st marriage is a practice round. I was very sad to hear my boss make the comment.

It has been my observation that weddings are hard work, and I only want to mess with a wedding once!

Aaron said...

1.5years under our belt now. They say the first year is the hardest. If that's true, I'm looking forward to the next 30. (Check back with me after we start downloading babies.) :)

Ys said...

It would be sort of hilarious if Ray and I had even discussed a pre-nup. We've just shared everything since day one. I suppose getting married can be a big deal to some people and so they build up these things to help control it? I'm not sure. I got married cos I was in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We tease each other all the time that we're stuck for life now cos we signed the paper ;)

Our Happy Married Life... said...

I totally agree! A friend of mine did one and my exact thinking was "how long is this going to last" it's sad! Best wishes to you on your wedding day. Enjoy every second of it- I know you will!

OK Chick said...

More wedding post???/

TC said...

I was in their wedding, and I told her once that I felt like it was disrespectful to those of us who stood there and watched them take their vows. (Not to mention spent almost a grand on dress, shoes, hair, makeup, presents, showers, etc.) If you're even thinking about getting out, you shouldn't be getting in.

AARON!!!!!! Where are your posts these days, Mister??!?!?!

Jordan said...

Ally!! Congratulations on your marriage! I stumbled onto some old blogs (A funny thing happened...) and clicked on yours, through hers. Everyone is married now (Aaron too).. congrats congrats!
I deleted my blog but I want to start one again... it's been a few years!

Ally said...

Jordan: Let me know if you start another blog! Good to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

That's really a sad story. It's so confusing that they're on their late 60s when they got married and got divorced for just a very short span of time. In my opinion, I think what they lacked was good communication with each other. But we can never tell what really happened. It is just good that they had thought of having a prenup to avoid further conflicts.

Ferdinand Draper