Are Couples With Prenups More Likely To Divorce?

The Marble Team

Are Couples With Prenups More Likely To Divorce?

Family Law
| 5 min
8 minutes

It used to be the case that prenuptial agreements only applied to the very rich and famous. But in more recent times, couples across all levels of society in America are choosing this option. When you consider that around half of all marriages in the US fail, a prenup starts to make more sense.

There are many good reasons for the popularity of prenuptial agreements. A prenup means each party can keep hold of any property they bring to the marriage. If you do separate, it makes the whole divorce process much swifter, cheaper, and cleaner. It also helps to ease any concerns that one partner is out to take advantage of the other’s financial means or is bringing excessive debts into the marriage. Furthermore, it can resolve any potential inheritance issues, for example, for children from one partner’s first marriage.

Despite these benefits, some people routinely dismiss prenups, saying they have no place in a romantic relationship. Others believe that if you sign up for one, it means that part of you thinks that the relationship is doomed from the start.

But what’s the actual reality? Are couples with prenups more likely to divorce? Are they a sensible precaution? Read on for the answers to these important questions.

The Short Answer: The Jury Is Still Out

The latest statistics on divorce make for interesting reading. Despite what you might believe, fewer couples in the US are getting married, and fewer are getting divorced. 

However, it’s harder to find statistics showing a definitive link between divorce and having a prenuptial agreement. Census figures don’t collect this information, and prenups are usually private and confidential. So, for now, the jury must remain out on any link between prenups and divorce.

However, there are plenty of stories about the impact of prenups, so let’s examine some of the evidence.

How A Prenup Can Hurt A Relationship

It’s easy to see how a prenup can hurt a relationship. You can imagine one partner saying, “if you really loved me, there wouldn’t be any need for such an agreement.” Here are more reasons why a prenup might be a bad idea.

It Involves Building A Business-Like Agreement 

Decisions around love and marriage should be ruled by the heart and not the head. There’s no business-like element to the love you feel for your parents or your children - so why would you suddenly impose cold, commercial terms to your love with your partner?

It Can Place The Parties In An Adversarial Position

Just raising the idea of a prenup can raise tensions between couples. Even before they’re joined in matrimony, a couple is contemplating how property should be split.

Yet, in some ways, you could say that having a prenup is better than not having one because it means that both partners have to be honest and upfront about any possessions they have, rather than keep things hidden or private.

It Could Foreshadow Negative Expectations

“Start as you mean to go on,” runs the old adage. If your partner wants to have a business relationship about your marriage, does that mean they will take a similar, calculating approach to other aspects of your life together?

Many would argue that marriage is about love and that cold, premarital discussions about money have no place in a genuinely loving relationship.

Measures That Can Reduce The Likelihood Of Divorce

There can be a tendency to focus too much on a prenup instead of other, more important aspects of your relationship. With a bit of effort on both sides, there are many ways to keep a relationship strong and secure: honesty and frankness, setting aside quality time for one another, tolerance, patience, small acts of kindness, the ability to compromise, and giving each other space when needed.

There’s also a range of practical measures that can strengthen your relationship. Simple actions like opening a joint bank account, or focusing on good communication, especially around finances, can significantly reduce the likelihood of your relationship ending in divorce.

Consider Opening A Joint Bank Account

It’s a fact that couples with a joint bank account are less likely to divorce. That might be because their collaborative approach spills over into all aspects of their marriage. But it could also be that the joint account focuses their minds on working together. 

Maybe you don’t have to pool all your assets. You can keep separate accounts for your individual spending but contribute proportionally to a joint account that pays the bills. Of course, you can use it for other purposes, like investing in one partner’s business for a return that benefits you both. 

Having both separate and joint accounts may give you the reassurance and financial independence you’re seeking and hence remove any need for a prenup. But this approach doesn't work without trust and good communication on both sides.

Focus On Communication, Especially In Financial Matters

Happily-married couples often say that the secret to their success is good communication. If you can share issues, discuss them calmly, and reach a mutually acceptable compromise, you're well on the way to enjoying a strong and long-lasting relationship.

Arguments over finances are one of the most common reasons for conflict in a relationship. Still, with a good line of communication, it’s much easier to resolve any issues overspending, bills, savings, and so on.

How A Family Lawyer Can Help You Evaluate If You Need A Prenup

You may not have thought about a prenup before, or perhaps you feel uneasy with the whole idea. However, in certain circumstances, a prenup is a sensible idea and one that’s worthy of consideration at the very least.

If you or your partner have any questions about prenups, you can get the answers from a dedicated family lawyer. An experienced attorney can outline the benefits, explain how prenups work, and - should you decide to go ahead - help you to draw up a watertight prenuptial agreement. They can also advise you whether a postnuptial agreement might suit you better

Bottom Line

The fact that prenups are growing in popularity should alert you to the thought that one might be a good idea for you and your partner. For sure, prenups aren’t for everyone, but it’s well worthwhile exploring all your options with an experienced lawyer before you arrive at a final decision. For help with your own prenuptial agreement, consult a family attorney through Marble.

8 minutes
Dec 30, 2020
The Marble Team