By Team BollywoodShaadis Last Updated:
Among the many wedding fads to have surfaced in the last decade, Pre Nuptial Agreements (pre-nups) are perhaps the most controversial. A pre-nup is essentially a legal document that lays down various Terms & Conditions in case the marriage is dissolved. Pre-nups clearly establish financial obligations and spousal rights in case of a failed marriage. This ensures that the division of financial assets during a divorce or permanent/trial separation is done in accordance with a legal document. Pre-nups can include conditional clauses also. This includes penalties for committing infidelity or being unable to satisfy your spouse in the bedroom!
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
The concept of a Prenuptial Agreement isn't flawed. It is meant to provide clarity regarding ownership of material assets when an irreconcilable dispute arises in a marriage. Pre-nups shouldn’t be perceived as a mere formality. Pre-nups are legally binding and nearly impossible to wriggle out of.
Why the preference for prenuptial agreement?
Most people define pre-nups as a way of securing oneself against a failed or incompatible marriage. Legal experts believe that pre-nups are still more of a Hollywood fad. The most famous example being that of Katie Holmes, who is paid millions of dollars, every year for being married to Tom Cruise! Psychologists opine that pre-nups have surfaced due to the insecurities among people. For instance, some pre-nups demand that the wife shouldn’t gain more than a couple of pounds after marriage. If she breaches her nuptial contract, she is liable to pay a financial penalty or might be asked to move out of her husband’s house until she is back to her being slim. For some, the bitter fact that a marriage might not work is too difficult to digest. For others, protecting their wealth against a failed marriage takes precedence.
Pre-nups: More than Dividing Assets
Today, pre-nups have become more complex. They can include what constitutes cheating apart from listing things that neither partner should do to keep the marriage alive. The documentation of pre-nups can include clarification about custody of children, after divorce. Some pre-nups include the number of times a spouse is allowed to try for reconciliation, i.e. attempts to save the marriage. This makes the pre-nups like a memorandum of understanding signed by the husband and wife.
Bizarreness of Pre-nups
Pre-nups can be bizarre too since there are few limitations to what cannot be included in the paperwork. This includes custody of pets, the freedom to marry again after divorce or allowing in-laws to stay beyond a certain period being included in the agreement.
Can Pre-nups Weaken a Marriage?
If the intent of a Prenuptial Agreement is not understood by either the husband or wife, it can be a catalyst for bitterness in the relationship. Since Prenuptial Agreements are still new to India, they are associated with not having absolute trust in your partner. For many brides and grooms, signing a Prenuptial Agreement is at par with having signed on the dotted line of an impending divorce.
The most hilarious and often ridiculous cases of Prenuptial Agreements arise when lifestyle clauses are included. This essentially means laying out dire consequences in case a particular way of living is not followed. This itself defies the essence of marriage where understanding and unconditional love are supposed to take precedence. In such cases, using Prenuptial is just laying the groundwork for destroying the relationship.
Do you believe that signing a Pre-Nup does more harm than good to the husband-wife relationship?
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