Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
At one time it was only celebrities in Hollywood who had prenuptial agreements before getting married. Today, more couples are signing something other than their application for a marriage license.
Prenuptial agreements are no longer just popular among celebrities or rich people. Even teachers, real estate agents, and small business owners are signing prenuptial agreements these days.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, often shortened to just prenup, is a written contract drawn up and signed before marriage. The premarital agreement is legally binding to protect the assets of the spouse who has signs a prenup before getting married. Usually, the spouse with a lot of wealth is the one who initiates a prenup.
Included in the contract are specific guidelines to determine how money, property and other possessions should be divided. Prenuptial agreements are recognized today in all fifty states in the United States. That doesn't mean they are part of God's plan for marriage. Some counselors discuss prenuptial agreements with engaged couples as part of their marriage counseling sessions.
What's Included in a Prenup?
The state where a couple lives at the time of divorce has laws to protect each spouse. However, many people choose to add to those state laws by signing a prenuptial agreement before they get married.
Prenups used to include only finances and property. Now, they include specific rules and stipulations. Some of them are farfetched.
The most common contents of a prenuptial agreement include stipulations for the following:
- spousal support
- child support
- pet support
Sometimes other requests are included.
- must have been married a certain number of years for the prenup to be enforced
- agreement not to remarry within a stated number of years
- custody and visitation rights for pets
- penalty for weight gain during the marriage
- who get the gardener, pool boy, maid, butler, etc.
- not being a vegan during the marriage
Reasons Prenups Are Not Part of God's Plan
One reason a prenuptial agreement is not part of God's plan is that the couple considers their marriage to be a contract when God intended for it to be a covenant. When a prenup is in place, it becomes a contract on top of a covenant.
While there is no topic on prenuptial agreements in the Bible, there are lots of commands about marriage and raising children. Jesus taught about marriage in Matthew 19:1-12. Paul explains a lot about marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 and Ephesians 5:21-33.
Most lawyers go along with drawing up a prenup for a couple, but a Christian lawyer says:
"Should Christians begin their sacred marriage relationship as if it were just another business deal? Is it healthy for a husband and wife to be forced into negotiating against one another as legal adversaries, each with their own attorneys, in the days or weeks before they are joined as "one flesh" in the eyes of God?"
The same lawyer, other attorneys, and this writer conclude that prenuptial agreements undermine the strength of the marriage because it becomes an insurance policy for a failed marriage. Some married couples give up on trying to stay in a marriage because of the personal gains they might get in a divorce settlement.
Prenuptial agreements just don't seem consistent with God's plan for marriage. According to His plan, when two people get married they become one flesh. Therefore, there should be no division planned in advance because it takes the romance and sacredness out of the marriage.
Reason NOT to Get a Prenuptial Agreement from a Christian Viewpoint
A "Just-In-Case" Marriage
A prenuptial agreement is meant for people who have a "just-in-case" marriage. When people get married for the right reasons, there should be no "just-in-case" guidelines. When people have a prenup before marriage, they are actually planning a wedding and a divorce at the same time. Divorces do happen, but they should not be planned before a couple actually commits to marriage vows and say, "I do" at the altar.
Marriage should be entered into with the belief that it will last. Having a prenuptial agreement is an indication that there is a strong possibility that it might not last. Some couples treasure their prenuptial contact more than their marriage covenant.
Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo drew up a prenup when they were engaged. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback added a lifestyle agreement into their prenup. The clause stated that Simpson could not be over 135 pounds during their marriage. If so, she would owe Romo $500,000 of her property for every pound over 135. The couple ended up never getting married.
Actor Charlie Sheen and actress Brook Mueller had a lengthy prenup before they divorced in 2011. Mueller received $500,000 within 180 days of the wedding ceremony. She also received an anniversary payment of $300,000 for the first 10 years of the marriage. Interest was accrued on any failed or late payment. Mueller got a $100,000 relocation fee and the car of her choice. The actress received $3.5 million in assets because of the prenup.
Nicole Kidman's net worth is more than that of her husband Keith Urban. They are very much in love and don't seem to be heading toward a divorce. The couple got married in 2006. Her prenup states that Urban gets $600,000 for every year they stay married.
If Beyoncé and Jay Z ever get a divorce, he has to pay her $5 million for every child they have together, and $1 million annually for every year they stayed married for up to 15 years. They wed in 2008 and have three children.
Jessica Biel has a clause for Justin Timberlake stating she would get $500,000 if he was caught cheating.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have a prenup that she will have at least one date every week with him and at least 100 minutes of alone time with him without talking business.
Kim Kardashian gets $1 million for every year she stays married to Kanye West for up to 10 years. They have been married since 2014. Kim gets to keep all the jewelry and gifts given to her during the marriage. She gets to keep the mansion that is already in her name even though Kanye is paying for it. All the money she earns from her reality show, fashion lines, and beauty products is solely her property, and they are off-limits to him.
Knowing that Michael Douglas was a womanizer before their marriage, Catherine Zeta-Jones has a clause in her prenup that Douglas will have to pay her if he cheats. She will also receive $2.8 million for every year she stays married to him. They have been married since 2000.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Evelyn on March 30, 2020:
Great article. Thanks.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on February 17, 2019:
I enjoyed reading about this, Margaret. It's so strange to me. My wife and I are "old fashioned." In fact, we took two years just dating, spending time with family, finding out who the other was before we entered into marriage. Even then, there were things we learned later about the other.
I think the phrase "for better or worse" frightens some people, Margaret. I think some couples use the prenuptial agreement as a safety net instead of taking time to grow and work to learn their spouse.
Great article on an important topic today.