Created on: February 09, 2013 Last Updated: February 11, 2013
The other guests at that secluded and romantic restaurant wait in anticipation for your answer as your partner, on bended knee and diamond ring in hand, asks you to marry him. The word rolls emotionally, yet effortlessly, off your lips; you’ve waited your whole life for this one special moment. "Yes, yes, yes," is your answer.
Just when you think the evening can’t get any more unforgettable and magical, you partner tells you he found a great lawyer who can draw up a comprehensive pre-nuptial contract.
For most hopeless romantics, the term pre-nup spoken by the love of their life feels like a slap in the face. But how can a legal document, such as a pre-nuptial agreement, create so much drama?
A pre-nuptial agreement is an agreement, drawn up before a marriage, that sets out how financial matters are to be dealt with and, more importantly, how assets will be divided if the marriage comes to end.
This is the main reason why pre-nups are hated by romantics; there is an underlying assumption that the marriage will end in divorce. Romantics feel less confident in the marriage that they want to enter into because they feel it’s doomed to fail from the start.
Here's a reality check. More than half of marriages end in divorce and, due to the complicated and financially devastating nature of divorce, many wish that they signed a pre-nuptial agreement before the marriage started.
Beloved celebrities are also divided on the prenuptial agreement issue, but here are some who wished they had signed that little, but extremely important, document:
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe said for better or worse, and in 2005, when they got divorced, Reese was earning $20 million per film. Ryan definitely got off for the better when the court split their assets right down the middle.
Roseanne’s lawyer was fired for just mentioning a pre-nup, but it was Tom Arnold who laughed all the way to the bank for $50 million when they got divorced.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills also parted ways after almost 6 years of marriage, but not before Heather was awarded a $48 million divorce settlement.
Tiger Woods effectively used a prenuptial agreement to win back his ex-wife, but it didn’t come cheap. His ex-wife easily persuaded Woods to include a $350 million anti-cheating clause in their prenuptial agreement.
It is important that soon-to-be-married couples communicate honestly about all aspects of their relationship, even the possibility of it ending, because there are always consequences. Where your hard-earned finances are involved, the financial consequences can be life-changing and quite possibly for the worse.
“Divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.” – Robin Williams
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