Writer's firm promote their antenuptial contract services at various marriage expo's every year. I have gained vast experience as to the mindset of these thousands of couples. It is clear from the expressions of many, that they have not taken the time, to discuss this important subject. It is also very clear that there is misconception and antagonism about and against antenuptial contracts. As one lady eloquently stated “We love each other!. We don’t need it”. It was however very telling when this young lady’s mother came back later to collect a brochure. It is also saddening for writer when he consults with couples married in community of property to see the devastation caused, when they lose everything, due to not taking the time to plan and mitigate their risks.
We understand that to the to the bride and groom, marriage is a loving contract between two people, as it should be, who want to spend the rest of their lives together. In the eyes of the law and corporate business, marriage is also a contract between two people … not about love, but about a variety of financial rights, freedom to trade, exposure and obligations. Should you thus not elect yourself the Law will make the decision on your behalf. If you really care about your spouse you thus owe it to yourself and your spouse to take the time to explore your options. Discussing and agreeing on these matters will definately but your marriage on a more sound footing.
It’s hard to talk about marriage as if it were “business,” but when it comes to creating a prenuptial agreement, that’s exactly the approach you should take. A prenuptial agreement isn’t an exit strategy or evidence of a lack of faith in the relationship. It is simply legal protection against future risk you may be exposed to in future.
Do this well beforehand -
Don’t wait until a week before your wedding to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your intended. Explore the topic early in a relationship, if possible before you become engaged.
Don’t assume you are on the same page
People have all kinds of notions about antenuptial contracts from their own experiences and subjective view. Don’t assume that you and your spouse-to-be are on the same page with this topic; ask.
Use your head. Not your hart.
It’s tough to talk about your loving, committed relationship as if it were a business arrangement. If you and your intended can agree to be logical (rather than emotional) about the preparation of a antenuptial contract, you’ll find it much easier.
Ask your Attorney
If your spouse-to-be is hesitant in any way, suggest that he/she consult with a legal professional to explore the benefits.
You may find it valuable to consult with a legal professional to understand the different kinds of issues that might be covered in a antenuptial contract. The better informed you are, the easier it will be for you to explain things to your intended.
Whatever your decision may be. I implore you to at least take the time to consider your options. Also consider changing or amending your will and estate planning when getting married.
Louwrens Koen - Notary-Public South-Africa
For further information or assistance please contact Louwrens Koen Attorneys
Tel: 087 0010 733
Office 4, Second Floor, Northern Pavilion Loftus Versveld, 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria.