I sometimes read advice columns for entertainment. Partly it is interesting to see how other people would solve problems and what they value but I can't deny that there is an appeal to seeing all the ridiculous situations people get themselves into and thinking "Wow, at least I don't have to deal with *that*."
I just read an advice column about how to cope with the desire for a prenuptial agreement. The person writing in wasn't sure if asking for a prenup made them an awful person - specifically, "dead inside".
That question is funny to me. I think most people get married wanting to have all kinds of magical happy feels and they don't want to accept the possibility of a divorce nor acknowledge all of the monetary issues that might crop up.
But you can't avoid the monetary issues. This is why the government created standard marriage agreements that you enter into when you get married, like it or not. They cover things like how assets are separated after a divorce and how much money people get paid when there is a disparity in income.
You *can't* get married without a contract. You just have a choice of accepting the default, unavoidable contract, or you can custom make your contract to suit the people getting married. Which is more romantic, a boilerplate, government mandated agreement, or something customized just for the two of you?
(Yes, I am trying to sell you on how prenuptial agreements are romantic.)
Most people don't need a prenup, of course. But I think people would be a lot better off if they acted as though a prenup was a normal way of doing things. Sitting down and going over everyone's debt, assets, income, and financial expectations prior to getting hitched is a fantastic idea. We should all have that as our standard model. After looking at all that stuff if you then decide that the standard model for a marriage contract is a good fit for you, great! Maybe it isn't and you should build your own contract, but at least making an informed decision is an excellent idea.
I didn't even consider getting a prenup when I got married, but that was because Wendy and I came in with assets and earning power that were both extremely close to one another, within 20% or so. Normally in a prenup there is one person with a lot more wealth than the other, and in our case that just wasn't so. We actually talked about it before getting married and both of us thought it was funny that we were both perfectly comfortable talking about getting a prenup and yet our personal financial situation made it completely unnecessary because we randomly ended up in such similar financial circumstances.
Plus I was young and in love and absolutely certain that it wouldn't matter anyway because I certainly was going to be with her forever. Which so far has worked out, mind, but one should be realistic.
But all of you out there, you should definitely consider a prenuptial agreement. At least enough to figure out what your entire financial picture looks like, at any rate. Know exactly why you *might* want one before deciding you don't, that is my advice.