Apr 112021
 

Ready to make it official? You and your fiancée need to hire a lawyer. And it won`t be cheap: depending on the complexity and level of negotiation, legal representation for a wedding can cost $2,500 or more per person. “Heather has received significant confirmation that marital agreements are not usually concluded,” says Samuel R. Rosenthal, professor of law and economics Steven Shavell, director of the Olin Center and one of Mahar`s advisors for the project. “This is an important finding for scholars of contract and family law. Moreover, it has a considerable political impact. As part of research into marriage contracts, which have been widely legally applicable since 1983, Mahar has become an advocate for their practical utility. Often seen as exclusive to the very rich, “marital agreements can go beyond the preservation of property before marriage,” she says. They could, for example, dictate the custody system or decide that, despite the divorce laws of most states that have “no fault,” the couple only accepts divorce on the traditional grounds of fault, such as abuse, addiction or imprisonment. “For me, it makes marriage more stable,” she says. “There is an understanding of marriage as a legal status,” she said. “Marriage is a legal act with legal consequences if the marriage ends in divorce.

Millennials have a better understanding of these consequences and take appropriate steps to create a mutually beneficial marriage agreement. A marital agreement occurs when a couple is close to marriage, but one or both spouses have assets that protect them from a future divorce. The agreement is signed before marriage and is a fundamental pillar that approves certain provisions relating to the assets to be protected. The mandatory pre-decision, Mahar believes, would erase the fear that they would signal a partner`s preparation for divorce. “For me, it`s a way that can be imposed by the state to get couples to talk about things through the kind of marriage you want, and — maybe it`s hard to say, but there are legal consequences if you should turn away from that trajectory,” she says. “For me, it`s a pre-wedding consultation.” Now, some pairs use prenupes as a way for each person to protect all the assets they have accumulated, whether it`s a modest condominium or a promising start-up. Agreements can also help people protect future incomes, at a time when it is not scandalous that a popular smartphone app brings sudden wealth or a successful secondary presence becomes an adult activity. For generations, chords have proven to be a sensitive point for couples they thought were unromantic.

In some relationships, contracts may signal a lack of trust or indicate that a person is planning the end of the union. Her study, which she has published in several journals, confirmed her suspicions that people are falsely optimistic about the success of their marriages and fear that the requirement of a marriage agreement will signal uncertainty about marriage.

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