Could a prenuptial agreement really be the most romantic gesture you can make before your wedding?
A lot more experts are on board with the idea that prenups are a good thing for couples to have -- they not only make for a more harmonious divorce (if one happens), but can send positive signals to your future spouse about the strength of your relationship.
Part of the reason for the change in how prenups are regarded and the effect that they have on couples is that there have been some drastic cultural shifts in the last few decades in this country.
In the past, prenups were considered a defense mechanism to be used by rich older men against young gold diggers or families of wealth and power to make certain that some outsider didn't make off with part of the "family money" by marrying (and later divorcing) one of the family's daughters.
Now, prenups are all about personal power and are no longer tied to stereotypical roles. Women and men are both marrying a little later and some are coming into their marriages after building up significant amounts of wealth either through inheritance or through self-sacrifice. Others are coming into the relationships after years of college -- with a lot of college debt hanging over their heads.
The disparity in the financial situation between a couple of vastly different means can create a sense of fear that can make it harder to commit to marriage. A prenuptial agreement takes all that fear out of the picture -- the partner with the better financial means knows that he or she is wanted for something other than his or her bank account.
In addition, the prenup allows the couple to do something else important, should the marriage actually falter and come to a divorce: they get to choose how to handle their own finances instead of letting the state or a judge dictate the situation. That sense of control can be very important to people -- especially when everything else in their lives seems to have spiraled out of control.
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