Posted on, Apr 15, 2017 in Prenuptial Agreements by Jacalyn Barnett
They say April showers bring May flowers, but in my world it seems instead to bring invites to bridal showers, weddings and prenuptial agreement meetings.
While most people see bridal showers and wedding celebrations as a couple’s public proclamations and confirmations of real romance, especially when elaborately done for all to see and relive on social media, I totally disagree. I think I have the best front row seat to seeing authentic proclamations of real romance. As a matrimonial lawyer, I am privileged to watch how a couple actually deals with one another and their respective families when they are crafting their prenuptial agreement - the roadmap they personally have designed for their Happily Ever After.
What is truly more romantic than saying what you mean and meaning what you say? That's what a prenuptial agreement essentially is - blessed by a notary instead of another licensed official. How much more meaningful is a wedding ceremony when each party honestly understands in their innermost soul the significance of the words they are exchanging? How much more likely is a person to live up to his or her word when they signed a piece of paper agreeing to those terms?
Without fully comprehending the legal consequences of entering into a marriage, or even recognizing it to be a legal event, I think participating in a wedding ceremony, no matter how fabulous the dress and shoes are, is akin to being cast to sing mindlessly in an opera in a foreign language you do not comprehend and which does not have any subtitles or a libretto. How much less meaningful is that?
Hopefully, when a wedding ceremony occurs it is because two people truly are in love. Of course, every love story has its challenges, just as any intimate relationship does. However, by going through the exercise of preparing a prenuptial agreement, lovers not only are afforded the opportunity to understand specifically the language of their commitment in their partner’s heart, but its legal consequences, too. Isn’t there less likelihood of a future misunderstanding over expectations of one another when you put it down in writing? Forcing yourself to hear what truly is going on in your partner’s mind and heart by submitting to the exercise of preparing a prenuptial agreement - even if you ultimately decide not to execute one - commits both of you to understanding the language of your unique love and its legal consequences for the rest of your lives.
So maybe you can make love in the dark, but please don't fall in love that way with the curtains drawn and your eyes closed. Let the sunlight flood all the rooms of your romance and understand what saying “Until death us do part” actually means in a day and age when no fault divorce exists in every state of our Union and where long-term marriages seem more vulnerable to divorce than ever. Love cannot only be longer but better if we make promises we not only can keep, but one which we want to make.