Some Hard Truths about Prenuptial Agreements: Do You Need One?
Updated: 2022-02-09T06:54:24Z

 

Love is in the air. Many will gather their courage and propose their eternal love, but not many will be granted a YES. If you are one of those fortunate ones, depending on the status of your partner or even yourself, you might need to create a prenup agreement.

 

Some Hard Truths about Prenuptial Agreement: Do You Need One?
"mayor-signature-sign-adult" by epicioci is licensed under CC0

 


     



    What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

     

    A prenup agreement (also called a premarital agreement or ante-nuptial agreement) is a contract made by two people that deals on how to handle both of their assets. It also defines what rights each person will have after the marriage.

     

     

    Prenuptial Agreement History

     

    This can be traced way back to ancient Egyptian times, which is over 2,000 years ago. In the same period, the Hebrews also practiced prenuptial agreements.

     

    In European cultures, dowries are considered the earliest example of prenuptial agreements. One of its basic functions is to protect the wife from any ill-treatment committed by the husband. In the event of such treatment, the husband needs to return the dowry.

     

    The family of the bride is the one giving the dowry and not the other way around, as practiced by other cultures.

     

    Resources:

     

     

     

    The Law of Absolute Community

     

    The Family Code of the Philippines: Executive Order No. 209 - Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

     

    To put it simply, if there are no agreements written and notarized before the marriage, the law of the land will be followed. This means that wealth acquired while still single will be conjugal once married.

     

     

    Why Would I Need a Prenup Agreement?

     

    The Happy Path:

     

    Let us say that you are the heir to your family's incredible wealth. Your family is on par with the Ayala, Sy, Tan, and Barrios (just throwing my family name out there as a…joke?). One day, out of the blue, love hits you point-blank.

     

    You declare to your parents that you will marry the woman of your dreams regardless of her status.

     

    This will raise the eyebrows of your parents, knowing that upon marriage, the wealth will be part of the absolute community as stated by the Family Code of the Philippines. Meaning your wealth will be hers as well.

     

    The Family Code of the Philippines: Executive Order No. 209 - Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

     

    To circumvent this and to have a win-win situation, a prenuptial agreement stating that generational wealth (family wealth) will remain in the bloodline will serve as the middle ground.

     

     

    The Unhappy Path:

     

    You fell in love with this "Adonis" kind of guy. The typical boy next door causes the hearts of every woman to flutter.

     

    In the same scenario as above, you declare to your parents that you will marry the man of your dreams.

     

    But there is some catch. Your husband-to-be is riddled with debt. Legally, if debts were incurred before marriage, your spouse is not obligated to share the burden. But love will blur legalities and reasons, which will end up for the spouse sharing the burden anyway.

     

    The Family Code of the Philippines: Executive Order No. 209 - Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

     

    For your parents to allow your marriage to your debt-ridden husband, having a prenuptial agreement (for this and that) will be a possible solution.

     

     

    Prenuptial Agreements Are for Individuals with Trust Issues

     

    In an ideal scenario, even if both of you have zero balance under your name but with no outstanding debts and have feelings of Love as the foundation. Your marriage will be as good as perfect since you can both start with a clean slate in building your family's wealth.

     

    However, if both of you are accomplished and have acquired wealth while still single, things will be a little bit complicated because your direct family will be the intervening factor. If the wealth is generational wealth, the situation is even more tricky because it involves the whole bloodline.

     

    History has shown us how wealth and power supersede relationships. We heard stories of:

     

    • Kings are overthrown because the son wants to take the throne.
    • Siblings fought each other because of inheritance.
    • Prominent families marry only within their circle to control wealth.

     

    Having a prenuptial agreement will help ease the tension of the concerned.

     

     



    What's in It for You?

     

    In its essence, prenuptial agreements (if drafted carefully and fairly) will give you a little bit of 'single' freedom even when married.

     

    What do I mean by this?

     

    For example, you have a hobby of collecting figures. You know for a fact that it is an expensive hobby depending on the franchise you are collecting. Once you are married, you can't just continue your 'single' hobby because you need to shift your focus to your family.

     

    You will be facing your spouse's wrath if you prioritize spending more on your toys than on your babies' milk.

     

    If an agreement was drafted that you can continue your hobby, granted that the expenses will not come from your absolute community/conjugal wealth, then you are good.

     

    The above is just a small-scale example. Imagine, if instead of a hobby, it is a family business where multiple members of the family are involved.

     

    Writing this article reminds me of my father's story of him having to forego the succession of handling my grandparent's patch of land in Negros (he is the eldest son). Maybe this was the reason aside from being swept by the power of love to my mother.

     

     

    Give Me a Quick Rundown of a Prenuptial Agreement

     

    • It allows couples to have control of their assets acquired while they are still single.
    • Control what is conjugal and what is not.
    • Protect the rights of children from a prior or other relationship.

     

    Let us just use pure monetary example for simplicity sake:

     

    Both of you have a generational wealth of 1 billion each. For obvious reasons, no one in both families will allow marriage, and this amount will be transferred to the spouse.

     

    A prenup agreement will be created for the generational wealth to be protected. Let us say, for example, only 10% (100 million) will be conjugal, and the remaining will stay in each family's bloodline.

     

     

    Closing Thoughts

     

    If you are the heir of generational wealth, you must have a prenuptial agreement. If you acquire wealth when you are still single, don't have any objections within your family, and fully trust your future spouse-to-be, then there is no need to draft an agreement.

     

    It all boils down to Love, Trust, and a few external family factors if you need an agreement or not.

     

    Remember that prenuptial agreements can make or break your marriage because it technically questions trust, be sure to discuss this beforehand with your future husband or wife.


    Are you ready to level-up your relationship? Read this next article: In Love? 6 Financial Facts You Need to Sort out Before Entering a Commitment.

     

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    What you should do today

     

    Did you have a prenuptial agreement? Share your perspective below to help our fellow readers out there decide.

     

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    Quote

     

    "Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell."
    - Joan Crawford
     
     
     
    - The Introvert's Perspective by ÆlfRæd (Elf Counsel)
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