Flora Gill (pictured) says divorce can be messy and painful, but a marriage contract can make it a bit simple
by Flora Gill
Signing a marriage contract is not unromantic, it is practical. Almost half of all marriages now end in divorce. That’s a huge number. You would never get on a roller coaster that broke half the time or eat a dish that poisoned only half of consumers. So while no one enters into a marriage expecting it to end, are you really too deceived and arrogant to admit that you might be in that unfortunate 50 percent?
People often feign shocked by the idea of a marriage contract for a wedding. How can you enter into a marriage thinking it might fail? The answer is the same way I put on a seat belt, even though I hope and believe I won’t crash. There’s nothing you can say about a driver’s prowess or the ruggedness of the car that won’t get me gripping still, just in case.
So I’d love to sign one, and I think most people my age are less shocked by that than in previous generations. Unlike those who are before us, we have seen our parents and their friends fight through divorce and it has made us more pragmatic.
I don’t really see how anyone could object these days. Is it because it is an unsexy legal document? What do you think marriage is? In essence, it is a contract. If you don’t want to include the law in your marriage, just have the party without the marriage. Otherwise, just add a few extra pages and signatures at the end of that paperwork.
Why not make signing a marriage contract standard? Only those who refuse to sign one are definitely suspect – if you never break up, it’s never relevant.
The mistake people make is to assume that such a contract leaves the less well-off party with nothing. But that is not the case. What you shouldn’t do is sign without some angry-looking attorneys negotiating on your behalf – know your worth. Prenups aren’t just for celebrities and CEOs and they’re not just to protect wealthy old men from the stereotypical gold digger – many women have worked tirelessly to build businesses they might want to protect, or they could have children from a previous marriage that they want to protect.
I would wear a seat belt even if a crash were unlikely
Divorces can be so terribly messy and painful, but a marriage contract can make things a little easier. Isn’t it better to discuss how you would break up from a position of love, rather than possibly do it later from a place of hate?
A marriage contract may not sound romantic, but a marriage isn’t all romance either. It’s a compromise with many big decisions. There are a million other difficult conversations that you will have to have together all your life. And if you’re not ready for the serious discussion of what happens when the worst happens, then you’re not ready to get married.
Kate Spicer (pictured) states that prenups can cause financial resentment in a relationship
by Kate Spicer
Romance doesn’t necessarily make a marriage last, but it certainly helps turn an engagement into a beautiful one. Prenups are like Domestos and kill all the known germs of hope and romance.
One time, at a fancy wedding with no expense spared, I was sitting next to the family attorney, and the conversation wasn’t about the amazing flower arrangements. “They’re a brilliant couple, aren’t they,” I said, clapping elatedly at something funny in the groom’s speech. “Mmm,” he said cynically, “I did the marriage contract.”
He said nothing more than from then on the wedding reeked, despite the cascades of tuberose, sweet peas and lily of the valley.
Prenuptial agreements are one of the most miserable unromantic concepts known to humanity.
Just the thought of the thing makes me sick. The only semaphore is that one has more money than the other and has rejected a part of their mind devoted to the failure of the marriage.
Marriage requires self-awareness, patience, in some ways it is like a business partnership, a partnership enriched with love, sex, family, pets, gardens and deep friendship.
Kind of like Domestos, it kills every germ of hope
The shared interests that arise within that cannot be predicted by a lawyer until it has even begun. Financial resentment in a relationship is depressing to watch and a marriage contract gets everyone ahead of it.
All over the world, UK divorce courts are considered to be extremely fair. Should the marriage end, why would the law, which has been tightened up over the centuries, regulate it instead of inviting family and legal teams to bed with you before you’ve even put a ring on it?
For many people who marry serious money, there is a team of attorneys and accountants, as well as the senior members of the family to contend with. Much has been said about Bill Gates in recent months. But I like him even more after I found out that he didn’t marry Melinda.
Despite already being one of the richest men on Earth when he married her in 1994, the man who proposed a whiteboard presentation to his future wife did not force her to sign a marriage contract. I admire them both for that. Attorneys are said to fear that he wouldn’t want to protect his money and assets, but to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, “They’d say they wouldn’t.”
Why bother with getting married if you don’t commit yourself to it for a lifetime? If marriage seems like a temporary arrangement from the outset, which is reasonable given the divorce rate, then nowadays it is possible to coexist with social mores. It’s what I did.
And as for that fragrant wedding? QED? The marriage ended.