I was having a cigar at a local Houston b&m where I randomly met a gentleman in his early 60’s who mentioned he was going through a divorce. This is his second marriage and asides from a couple of adult kids from his previous marriage, he has one small child from his current marriage.
This means that if things go as he thinks they’ll go, he’ll be paying child support until he’s close to his 80’s.
Let’s unpack this.
First of all, he acknowledges that he was up sh*t’s creek on this one. Let me be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with child support. If you created a child, then you should be responsible for paying their way whether they live with you or not.
This is exactly why every person, man or woman should have a prenuptial agreement in place if they are contemplating marriage. I think its delusional to think a marriage will last forever.
There isn’t anything wrong with hoping it will, but as the old saying goes, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
Marriages have a high failure rate that only increases with the birth of children. Therefore, having a clear contract in place that protects both parties in case of a deterioration in the relationship can only be in the best interest of the child.
All the children care about is that both parents act like adults, handle their business and love them like they deserve to be loved and cared for. Unfortunately, when divorce strikes the ugliest side of humanity surfaces.
There are parents who weaponize their kids against each other to gain pitiful leverage in the ego battle of who remains in control. They fight over assets like starving dogs fighting over the last piece of meat.
And if one of the parents decides to be the bigger person and take the high road, you can rest assured they will get the shortest end of that stick and face a life long rebuild post divorce.
For some the mental peace that comes with just walking away is worth it over a long drawn out court battle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All of that turmoil can be prevented with a simple prenup at the beginning of the marriage.
Marriage is a contract executed by the courts. Therefore, putting a few additional stipulations on the allocation assets post divorce is only being prudent and thorough.
If the person you are with balks at the idea of the prenup, then you can bet they won’t be so gracious when they are sitting across from you with their lawyer whispering in their ear.
I’d never marry a person who would not get a prenup. First of all, I don’t plan to get married, but if for some odd reason I did, then a prenup would definitely be a line item on the list of things to do prior to getting married.
People’s words are as fickle as their moods. Just think of yourself, were you the same person 10 years ago as you are today? If the answer is no, then how do you know the person you marry will remain the same 10 years from now?
And what they person they become 10 years from now can no longer stand you or you can’t stand them? This isn’t some dark view of the world, its a reality based assessment of what has been happening in increasing frequency over the last few decades.
As a man, I can speak for men and I can’t say it loud enough… get a prenup if you are going to get married; even if you are currently flat broke. You don’t know what your future holds in terms of money. A lucky break your way can increase your networth 10 fold or more. At that point you all of a sudden become vulnerable to the shackles of the relationship you are in.
If your spouse starts acting out, then you know they don’t have any leverage over you because the terms of your disentanglement have already been laid out. At that point, no one has an advantage over the other when considering a separation.
In some cases, that may even dissuade your spouse from a divorce knowing they don’t have a windfall waiting for them. Instead they will get what they came into the marriage with, plus some predefined percentage of the new wealth the two of you created together.
I’d simply build a prenup that looked something like this:
- All assets you owned before marriage remain yours after divorce
- New assets acquired through joint effort will be either sold and split down the middle or if a sales agreement can’t be reached or a sale isn’t feasible, then one party can buy the other party out.
- All debt accumulated and accounted for as community debt will be paid equally by both parties.
- Any debt brought into the marriage individually remains with that individual post marriage.
Now this isn’t legal advice as I am not specialized nor qualified to give it, but I know what kind of questions I’d be asking my lawyer ahead of getting married.
What I won’t be doing is risking everything I built because someone doe eyed person tries to sell me the dream of living happily ever after. Besides, if my happiness was truly their concern then they’d want me to have a prenup in place to ease my anxiety of possibly having to start all over in case they change their mind.
That is what I call true love.