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Signing a prenup doesn’t mean you’re betting against your marriage

Prenups are big news right now. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp didn’t have one. Lindsay Lohan and Russian oligarch fiancé Egor Tarabasov are refusing to get one. Clearly, the prenuptial agreement is not en vogue right now. Hmmm. Wonder how Depp is feeling about that decision now?

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I have very few rules when it comes to marriage. I have no problem with anybody’s motivations for marrying. You’re madly in love. You want a more secure financial future. You’re pregnant and don’t want to go it alone. Or maybe you just don’t want to be alone. Like life, relationships and marriage can be super complicated, and things are rarely black and white. For some people, the all-consuming, can’t-live-without-you love is the basis of a wedding, while others approach their nuptials from a far more practical place.

Whatever your reasons for marrying, though, you gotta get a prenup if there are large amounts of money, assets or complicated finances at stake. It’s a no-brainer. It’s the sensible thing to do, and you can be head over heels, can’t-live-without-you in love with someone and be sensible.

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And they’re not just for celebrities: anyone who brings personal or business assets to a marriage can benefit from a prenup. It doesn’t need to be a complicated legal document — it may simply be an inventory of premarital assets that remain the property of their original owner, in the event of a divorce.

I simply don’t buy the argument that having a prenup is somehow tempting fate or suggesting you don’t have faith in your marriage. On the contrary — having a prenup is proof that a couple is so tight, so on the same page, so invested in each other’s future (either together or apart), that they don’t see taking that precaution as a sign of weakness in the relationship.

The prenup has to be separated from the relationship itself, and the love you feel towards your partner. We don’t think twice about getting car or health insurance, right? But that doesn’t mean we think we’re going to crash or get sick. We’re simply acknowledging that those things are possibilities, so why is a prenup so different? You can’t argue with divorce statistics. According to the CDC, roughly half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Meaning you’re far more likely to get divorced than write your car off.

If anecdotal evidence is more your thing, have you ever heard someone (married or divorced), say “Our prenup ruined my marriage”? I doubt it. On the other hand, we’ve all heard (or read stories) about people who bitterly regret not having one.

It couldn’t be simpler. Agree to the prenup, get it done right and then file it away, and hopefully you’ll never need to give it another thought. But if you’re in the 50 percent of U.S. couples who don’t live happily ever after (not together, at least), you’ll be damn pleased you did.

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