Are PreNuptial Agreements OK?
Can consent for a PreNup actually liberate?
What happens when people who've never ever even met consent to a pre-nuptial agreement, at least in theory?
You might be wondering what the hell is he talking about. Pre-nuptial agreements only happen between people that know each other and plan to get married.
Well, I started an experiment a while back - a matchmaking site for people prepared to sign a PreNup agreement!
The site no longer exists but when it did, I think it was the first matchmaking site to make it a precondition to agree, in principle with pre-nups. I thought it was a good idea at the time but I got no registrations!
Talk of prenuptials pours cold water on Romance and those special feelings you might be having. I know it sounds quite mad - consenting to PreNuptial agreements as a condition of membership to a dating site before you've even met a date! - but the more I looked into it the more interesting it became so I went ahead.
Putting aside the question of what type of people want PreNups (successful hurt ones?)
HIstorically, according to the research (see the Wikipedia entry on prenuptials) the law in America and the UK has not shown much recognition for prenuptials and they are not always enforceable - it is left to the judge's discretion.
Why would this be?
"In the United States [judges have] frowned upon prenuptial agreements as corrupting what marriage was supposed to stand for, and often they would not recognize them."(Wikipedia entry on prenuptial agreement)
5 conditions, it seems, must at the very least be met for a PreNuptial to be legal:
1.It must be made in writing.
2 No coercion must be involved. It must be voluntary
3.Nothing hidden - full disclosure of assets etc...
4.It must be unconscionable which means it must be fair - a prenuptial or any contract is unenforceable if it is unfair to one of the parties trying to escape it. It can be made unenforceable or at least the parts of the contract deemed to be unfair, can be considered unenforceable. Fair enough.
5.It must be acknowledged in front of a legal authority for it to be recorded - the parties, not just their attorneys, must be there to sign it. You know the old "Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared....witnessed and signed...In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this ........ day of .................."
Moreover, if you limit spousal support (like maintenance and alimony) in a prenuptial you cannot do so without having independent counsel to the agreement.
It's wonderful, isn't it? PreNups might actually force us to look at whether we are being fair. The laws in the free world certainly try to keep things fair for all concerned so getting back now to the original question of this article.
Well would you give your OK to a PreNuptial Agreement before you'd met your future partner?
Knowing your partner would do the same.
If people want to protect their hard-earned assets it shouldn't be frowned upon unless they are blatantly being unfair which ultimately will be for the courts to decide in the event of a separation.
So if you gave consent, in theory to a prenuptial agreement, before you've met your future partner, you might be saying you are there for the purist of motives or for love alone - now wouldn't that be what marriage should really be about?
In a funny way, acceptance of a PreNuptial Agreement becomes the liberation of TRUTH and LOVE - who ever would have thought?
I would love to hear comments from anyone with experience of PreNuptials despite the fact my matchmaking site no longer exists due to lack of interest!
DISCLAIMER:Please do your own research and evaluations and check LAWS in your local area as no claim is made to the accuracy or otherwise of any of the above legal advice in this article.