Monday, April 8, 2013

Should I Get a Pre-Nup?

Dear Jocelyn,
What are your thoughts on prenuptial agreements? My fiancé and I are being advised to make one and we aren't sure if it's a Christian idea- planning for a possible divorce. I'm being pressured by my family since I'm bringing in about ten times more money into the marriage than he is. Is this a good idea, or a Christian idea?
-Wealthy Bride

Dear Bride,
Your feelings are correct on this matter - it isn't a Christian idea. Prenuptial agreements are intended to protect one or both spouses financially in the case of divorce.  For certain people who are wealthy and for whom divorce is a reasonable possibility (e.g. Donald Trump), a prenuptial agreement makes a lot of sense.  For a Christian heading into marriage, it does not. Yes, there are Christians that get divorced.  Things can go wrong.  But instead of planning for divorce, plan and prepare for a strong marriage by undergoing pre-marital counseling and doing "maintenance work" once you are married. (Marriage conferences, marriage counseling, and reading books on relationships are all excellent ways to build a stronger marriage.) In getting a prenuptial agreement, you are telling your fiancé that there is a reasonable possibility you two will be getting divorced, and that you do not wish to share the entirety of yourself with him. If this is true, then I strongly recommend against going ahead with the wedding. In your vows, you are promising everything (including your money). A prenuptial agreement contradicts those vows.  

As for your family and those advising for it, come up with a standard line for them, such as: "Thank you for your concern, but I have looked into the matter and have chosen not to get one." If they press, say, "I don't want to talk about this anymore" and change the subject.  Getting married is a time when you will be learning how to leave your family and cleave to your spouse.  This is probably not the only thing you will have to tell your family to back off on.  Build strong boundaries now, and save yourself from having to do it later on down the road.

Congratulations on your wedding, and I wish you and your fiancé all the best!
-Jocelyn

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