You're Planning Your Divorce

Cory and his fiancée disagree on the subject of prenuptial agreements. He wants one, and she doesn't. Dave doesn't think they need a prenup since they're already planning their divorce before they get married.

QUESTION: Cory in Los Angeles is getting married, and he and his fiancée disagree on the subject of prenuptial agreements. He wants one, and she doesn’t. Cory isn’t wealthy, and she isn’t either. Dave doesn’t think they need a prenup since they’re already planning their divorce before they get married.

ANSWER: I don’t think you need a prenup. I’m positive you don’t need a prenup. You should not plan your divorce before you get married. If you have to plan your divorce before you get married, don’t get married. I’ve been married 30 years, and I’ve got to tell you if you make yourself an easy way out, you’ll leave.

Marriage is tough. It’s one of the most rewarding things you will ever do—to find a person to love and to spend your whole life with. But it’s tough. There are times during this journey that you want to kill each other. Anybody who says that’s not so is not being truthful with you. You have to approach marriage as if this is an absolute lifelong commitment. I meet people who are more committed to their tattoos than they are their spouses because, buddy, that’s for life. You can get ‘em removed, but it’s painful. It’s the same thing with a spouse. If you cannot commit your life to her and she’s not more important to you than any future wealth you might have, then I don’t suggest you get married.

There is logic to it. The logic is all about commitment. That’s not emotion. That’s logic.

Why would you risk your heart and the chances that you may have someone reach into your chest and crush you? They may take their spiked heel and drive it through your heart and break it. Why would you take that risk? Because it’s worth it. That’s why. It is emotional. We’re talking about relationships and love and these other things.

The planner part of you is what’s coming through. I don’t even know if you realize how badly you probably have hurt her feelings by just discussing this. You devalued her in the process. You didn’t mean to. It’s not your spirit. You obviously love the girl or you wouldn’t be marrying her. You’re not a bad guy. That’s not what I’m saying. She just felt cheapened with this discussion. The way your mind works, you’ve kind of got that same planner’s mind that I have. You applied those business principles to your relationship, which to you and me is logical. But after 30 years of marriage, I figured out it’s also stupid.

As a financial counselor, the only time I think prenups are a good idea is if one party has a huge pile of wealth that the other party doesn’t have. And then the only reason that I believe in the prenup then is I’ve worked with a lot of wealthy people over the years, and I found most of them to be fairly normal, especially if they’re people who earned the wealth. But dude, they attract some freaks. Maybe the person they’re marrying is not a freak, but there’s probably one somewhere in that person’s family who’s all excited about them getting married. That’s the way I look at the thing.