Prenups can be a significant source of contention between couples as they set out to embark on the next stage of their journey together.
Should we get a prenuptial agreement? Should we not get a prenuptial agreement? The debate can be intense and can lead to a lot of negativity at a time that is supposed to be one of the happiest in your lives.
I don’t think there’s one right answer. In fact, whether you should or shouldn’t get a prenup can be very situation specific.
To help you make the best decision, Team Kabuk has taken a closer look at both sides of the story and compiled a list of the usual suspects when it comes to the arguments for and against. Full disclosure: while I personally believe strongly in the prenup, I do not actually have one (either making me a huge hypocrite or the ideal person to write this story).
The case against getting a prenup
Most of the arguments we’ve heard against the prenuptial agreement were based on trust and belief in the relationship.
Here’s some of the things we heard when talking to those not in favour of the prenup:
- Prenups mean less incentive to work on making your marriage last. They give you an easy way out.
- Prenup are coercive. Typically the stronger party (financially) in a relationship presents the prenup to their partner. The other party may not feel they have a choice if they want the wedding to go ahead.
- Prenups are unbalanced, favoring the party with more assets.
- Prenups are unromantic. Think Barney and Quinn in How I Met Your Mother. To them the prenup represented a lack of trust in each other, which ultimately caused them to not go ahead with their marriage (on the flip side, one might argue that without the discussions over the prenup they might not have identified their issues and gone ahead with a disastrous marriage) .
- “I don’t believe in divorce.”
The case for getting a prenup
By way of contrast, supporters of the prenup argue that with the Canadian divorce rate fluctuating between 35% and 42% prenuptial agreements are just good sense.
Think of car insurance. No one (or at least no one I know) gets into that car planning on having an accident, yet we’re all required to get insurance anyways on the off-chance that we do. By that token, we enter into marriage hoping that it will last forever. A prenup is there as support in the case that that marriage ends.
Here’s some of the things we heard when talking to supporters of the prenup:
- Prenups allow you to hash out ‘what if’ details while you are still on good terms.
- Prenups can serve as a test of how well you can communicate on important issues, helping you to identify issues. If you can’t come to an agreement on important things, perhaps there is a case for reconsidering marriage.
- Prenups make more sense today than in yesteryear. The average marriage age has increased and people have more assets than previous generations did.
- Prenups are important to protect children from a previous marriage.
Are people who get a prenup more likely to divorce?
The jury is still out on whether people who get prenups are more likely to divorce. Indeed, I’ve come across sources that support both sides (and none that seem to be statistically significant). If you see a good source, please send it our way!!!
Looking for more information on getting a prenuptial agreement in Canada? We can help! Check out our primer on prenuptial agreements or use Kabuk to find family lawyers and book an appointment with the best family lawyer for your needs. It’s free to use!
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