I think what I’ll be touching today will be quite sensitive to some people, especially for those who truly believe that marriage should be solely based on love and trust alone. I apologize in advance if my opinion strikes some nerves.
I was having my usual breakfast at my regular kopitiam again, and saw a young couple who were just married but were bickering about Chinese New Year-where they should spend it at and how much money they should allocate for the coming celebration. And since this would also be their first time giving angpows, they would need to allocate more for the red packets, contributions for dinners and household expenses, and so, the wife voiced out her concerns, as she’s also pregnant with their baby. They were sitting next to my table, and I silently observe them and listen to their heated discussion with interest while waiting for my buttered toasts and tea.
The husband seems to be aloof with the wife’s concern about their financial status and demanded that it’s all right for them to spend a rather disgusting amount of money just to celebrate Chinese New Year as they are only celebrating it once a year while the wife is going against it, as she’s worried about recession as well as her impending motherhood. She told her husband that to spend moderately is fine, but since he’s planning to have quite a blast to celebrate Chinese New Year, she’s really going against it. She felt that it’s not right to take out money from their joint account just because he wanted to have a huge Chinese New Year Celebration with his family. She felt that the money in their joint account would be better invested if they spend on the baby’s education fund, insurance, buying house, etc. She strongly stressed that spending a disgusting amount of money for a celebration is completely a waste of money, and merely a short term gratification. She told him that if he wanted to have such a blast, then he would have to take it out from his own savings and salary, not from their joint account.
The husband flared up, saying that the money is also his, and he have the rights to take some sum of amount out as he also contribute to the joint account which she refute that he only contributed occasionally when he’s ‘feeling generous’ while she have her contributions automatically deducted from her salary every month. She then questioned him about the amount that he banked in into the account in a rather angry manner. He was effectively silenced, but muttered something that suspiciously sounded like “It’s your hormones talking” which she shot back with “Insufferable male, I should have made you sign the pre-nup”.
I had initially thought their bickering was quite funny, as married couples often fight during festive seasons. It doesn’t matter what festival the couple in question will be celebrating, but it’s quite common for husband and wife to argue where they will be spending their holidays at, how much will they spend after getting a bonus, whether or not a new car is necessary, etc.
Sometimes, discussion over small matters can be rather disastrous. Some couple would divorce over financial matters, so, when the lady mentioned ‘pre-nup’, I thought it’s quite a clever but controversial solution to most marriage financial problems-as to most, pre-nuptial agreement is for those who have divorce in mind.
I would have to agree that nothing more could kill passion and romance more than pre-nuptial agreement. To some, it’s simply disheartening as well as a turn off. Some would say a marriage should be build on love and trust, and pre-nuptial agreement is for those who do not trust the partner. But, is it true that if you sign a pre-nup, it meant that you do not trust your partner?
In a pre-nupt, both parties who are going to be married will be required to disclose all of their assets. Isn’t disclosing all of your assets to your future husband or wife is also a form of trust? Most husband and wife who do not sign a pre-nup also hide their assets from their spouse’s knowledge. Isn’t this a mistrust at it’s very best? If you are sincere enough, why would you want to hide your assets from your spouse and refuse to sign a pre-nup? You say one should not sign a pre-nup should be based on trust and people who signed one are having divorce in mind, but since you are hiding your assets from your spouse, aren’t you stashing some money too in the case of divorce or for the sake of your own enjoyment?
Frankly speaking, I think a pre-nuptial agreement can be beneficial to both parties if the agreement is done fairly and could possibly help avoid disastrous discussion about their assets and finance. Marriage is not only a sacred union between two hearts and soul, but it’s also a financial union. Pre-nuptial agreement can help save a marriage as it will help to ensure the financial health of one’s marriage. It is also a form of security to both parties. Everyone should remember that marriage is not only made of sugar and everything nice, but it’s also made of frogs and everything nasty. One should not allow passion and romance clouded their judgment regarding financial matters.
A pre-nuptial agreement can restrict from overspending on unnecessary things, and in case of a Muslim man taking a second or third wife, the first wife will not be held responsible or forced to share her assets with the co-wives. In some cases, some Muslim men would force the first wife to share her assests and property with the co-wives, and this is unfair to the first wife, as the property and assets belongs to her in the first place. Dear readers, pray tell, why should a woman share her wealth with another woman who stole her husband away from her? Shouldn’t a husband and wife safeguard some money for the sake of financial security if anything untoward happens to their other half?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two people about to wed that dictates how assets will be distributed in not only the event of divorce, but also death. Such agreements have existed for thousands of years in some form or another, particularly in European and Far Eastern cultures, where royal families have always made provisions for protecting their wealth.
However, you don’t need to be a an European royalty or even a rich guy to sign pre-nuptual agreement. You should consider signing a pre-nuptial agreement if:
• You have assets such as a home, stock or retirement funds
• You want to state on how you and your spouse should use the savings in your joint account.
• You may be receiving an inheritance that can only be used by your family bloodline.
• You have children from a previous marriage.
• One of you is much wealthier than the other.
• One of you will be supporting the other for education or business
• You have loved ones who need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents.
• You are doing a risky business and you want to protect your spouse and children from being affected if your business failed and have been declared bankruptcy.
Actually, a pre-nuptial agreement is not only protecting yourself, but also your spouse and your children if it’s done correctly. A lawful and valid pre-nuptial agreement is usually fair and will look for equity to make sure one spouse is not being taken advantage of. Do note that things that’s not related to financial like parenting responsibility may also be included in the agreement, but it’s best not to make demands like “He have to quit smoking” or “She have to stop gossiping with her friends” in the agreement. A pre-nup should be a piece of paper that safeguard a marriage and protect both parties, not gives them stress and insecurities.
Cleffairy: If marriage is really based on love and trust alone, why the hell do you need to need to sign a marriage license or certificate? Wouldn’t it be better if you just take a vow and not sign anything? Wouldn’t that be more trusting as you love your spouse enough not to claim him or her as yours in the eyes of the public?