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What are your views on prenups with Christianity?

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May 31, 2020

I've read various marriages christian and non-christian regretting not having a prenup.

I also know that churches absolute hate prenups because it's "setting up for failure".

Prenups are like buying insurance if something goes wrong.

Post Information
Title What are your views on prenups with Christianity?
Author Everglade301
Upvotes 7
Comments 29
Date 31 May 2020 10:03 PM UTC (8 months ago)
Subreddit askRPC
Original Link
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[–]Red-Curious11 points12 points  (14 children) | Copy

I'm a divorce attorney. I HATE the "prenups are planning your divorce" argument because it's absolutely false. It's really the opposite. Since no fault divorce became virtually universal, the default laws of most states encourage divorce, making it easy and painless to get divorced. Prenups add consequences to get divorced, making it less likely that either party will want to. The deterrents usually include things like penalties for cheating on the other spouse, filing without just cause, financial exploitation, etc. It basically penalizes people for doing common sense things that Christians shouldn't be doing in the first place.

You would be an idiot to get married in the modern climate without contractually imposing penalties for basic decency that the default laws of the state will allow people to do without consequence.

If you do get a prenup, the best approach is to tell people: "The laws of our government are not godly. I don't want to subject myself to an ungodly set of laws. So, we're going to use a prenup to create godly boundaries for our marriage and deterrents to ensure we are never motivated for divorce."

[–]Deep_Strength0 points1 point  (11 children) | Copy

Good way to look at it.

What types of penalties would you suggest be imposed in a pre-nup?

Something along the lines of what "fault divorce" once was?

Or something akin to actual Scriptural laws?

[–]Red-Curious4 points5 points  (7 children) | Copy

I advise all of my clients to have a provision that obligates a wife suspected of adultery to drink from a clay jar filled with holy water mixed with dust from a tabernacle floor.

Seriously, though, I don't ever look to the Mosaic law for dealing with non-ancient-Israelites. I do recommend basic stuff:

  • Consequences to infidelity that would affect support or property division.

  • Consequences to concealment of asset that would affect property division or claims of separate property.

  • Consequences for separating from the marital residence.

  • Advance stipulations as to present intentions toward a future custody case (obviously these aren't binding, but they are certainly influential).

  • Calculations for how "equal contribution" is to be understood while one spouse works and the other doesn't, especially in the event of divorce.

  • Provisions for legal fees to be covered or prohibited, depending on who files for divorce.

  • Restricted access to separate property or passively acquired wealth.

  • Calculations that identify separate property and allow for the creation of new separate property during the marriage.

  • A clear statement that the goal of the prenup is not to pre-negotiate the divorce, but to create intentional disincentives to the divorce process itself.

Most of the things I put in are unique to the situation and requests of the client, though. These are just some common ones.

[–]Willow-girl0 points1 point  (6 children) | Copy

but to create intentional disincentives to the divorce process itself.


I'm genuinely curious. I can't see how it would be consolation to know that your spouse no longer loves you and would leave you if he/she could, but is stuck with you because of the terms of the pre-nup. Where's the percentage in that?

[–]Red-Curious2 points3 points  (5 children) | Copy

From a secular viewpoint that prioritizes feelings over godliness, what you're saying makes perfect sense.

[–]Willow-girl0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

But pre-nups are generally about money, in my experience, and money is pretty secular, isn't it?

If your spouse hates you but is staying because they want to keep spending your money instead of being left destitute by the terms of the pre-nup ... what's godly about that?

[–]Red-Curious4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

Are you suggesting that staying in a marriage in which you're unhappy is more sinful than divorce? I seriously am not getting where you're trying to go with this. Divorce is sin. Staying married, even in an unhappy situation, is not. Being defiant and spiteful toward your spouse because you cannot divorce him is also sin. A prenup can cover that kind of behavior too.

[–]Willow-girl-2 points-1 points  (0 children) | Copy

Well, this is one of the instances in which I part ways with the Bible. I simply can't see any benefit in two people who can't stand each other staying together for the sake of religion ... or, more likely, because one can't support him/herself in the style to which he/she has become accustomed, or doesn't want to suffer the kind of property division that comes with a divorce.

I grew up in such a household and it was so miserable and so toxic that I made a serious suicide attempt at age 14. It was the only way I could see to get out of that mess! I know that my mother also contemplated suicide (and taking me with her ... yikes) many times. Now, my parents were not Christians and weren't staying together for religious reasons, but for the financial ones described above. Would it have been better for them to divorce, 'sin' or not? A thousand times YES, in my opinion. (And they did, in fact, albeit after 40 years in that hell.)

Being defiant and spiteful toward your spouse because you cannot divorce him is also sin. A prenup can cover that kind of behavior too.

Umm ... how? Do you mean there are actual provisions that say things like, "Jane has to pay Bob $20 for every time she acts spitefully and defiantly toward him"? How exactly do you "cover that kind of behavior"?

[–]Torn4_0251 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Government marriage license's are 100% about money. If people aren't willing to forgo it then it's about the money, not relationship period.

I'd say this process is good for deciding if you even want to go though with marriage to that person or not. Mainly because Christians are called to keep things out of court and if they are going insist on having a legal contract it should punish bad behavior with teeth enforcing commitment. If you actually believe in grace then don't even sign a legal marriage document in the first place.

Bottom line only two kinds of people go all in for real. All into grace without government paper or all into legalism with pre-nup. People signing onto the no fault system are doing it half baked and yet calling it "all in" despite lacking grace money wise and lacking teeth when it comes to wrongful behavior. It's a total joke.

[–]Willow-girl0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Mainly because Christians are called to keep things out of court

That's a good point! It is probably unseemly for a Christian couple to fight tooth-and-nail over their divorce settlement in a secular court system. I mean, what kind of witness is that?

All the same, being legally married conveys certain benefits (at least in the U.S.) that can't be gotten any other way, such as the ability to put spouses on your insurance plan, or to allow them to draw off your Social Security when they reach retirement age or in the event of your untimely passing. A husband and wife who both have good-paying jobs and are paying into Social Security individually may not care about the retirement-benefits angle, but a person with a stay-at-home spouse might. Whether the juice is worth the squeeze probably depends on your individual circumstances.

[–]Willow-girl-2 points-1 points  (2 children) | Copy

What types of penalties would you suggest be imposed in a pre-nup?

I think wives should insert a clause fining the husband every time he looks at pornography. ;-)

Depending on the size of the fine, many wives could probably afford that dream kitchen they've always wanted ...

[–]Deep_Strength0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Ah, the common "sin" of men. Does that mean you're for fining women if they spend too much time on or post too many pictures on social media?

[–]Willow-girl0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Hehe, that's fine with me as I don't post on social media at all! :-)

[–]DaLaohu0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

It reminds me of what Wills Attorneys tell people: "You can choose not to have a will, because the State already wrote you one, or you can write your own will."

[–]Red-Curious1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy


[–]ENTPunisher4 points5 points  (6 children) | Copy

A lot of pastors promote the requirement of getting a state marriage license for the simple reason that it makes it more difficult to divorce your spouse. As 80% of divorces are initiated by women, we could extend that logic to prenups, as they are a powerful financial deterrent to divorce.

[–]Willow-girl-5 points-4 points  (5 children) | Copy

As 80% of divorces are initiated by women, we could extend that logic to prenups, as they are a powerful financial deterrent to divorce.

Maybe, but if your wife despises you, and shows it by word and deed, do you really want her to stick around just because she can't afford to leave you and/or wants to keep spending your money? That doesn't sound like a good time for anyone, sorry.

[–]ENTPunisher11 points12 points  (4 children) | Copy

Bitch better stick around, that ass belongs to me.

[–]Willow-girl-4 points-3 points  (3 children) | Copy

This comment is not gonna last long, lol.

[–]ENTPunisher7 points8 points  (2 children) | Copy

That was exactly what I was thinking as I posted it.

[–]Willow-girl1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Hey, the mods left it up! Good for you.

I once quoted a mod's post which included the B-word ... my reply (containing the quote) was deleted for profanity while the original post was allowed to stand. That one had me scratching my head, but ... well, people aren't being paid to do this! :-)

[–]ENTPunisher1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

They don't have the bot set up for askRPC yet :)

[–]CarelessBowler50 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I would turn it around. What are your views on your state's/country's divorce laws?

In hindsight, I might've gotten a prenup. If only because I'm now acutely aware of how badly my wife could ruin my life and my kids lives if she decided to turn on me.

My wife and I believe the Bible has a couple key circumstances where divorce is warranted (I know, that's controversial in our Christian circles.) However, we have no exit plan that protects our assets and our kids to our mutual satisfaction if one of us abandons/abuses/etc. 10 years from now.

[–]Deep_Strength-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Getting a prenup is like trying to avoid a state marriage license. Generally, it is a waste of time due to the distrust it will sow with likely not only your spouse but also your family, her family, and the Church community if they hear of it. Not getting the state marriage license is more troublesome in some respects (much more difficult to do medical stuff, insurance, taxes, etc plus courts can interject anyway with child support and other stuff like that).

That said... if you have assets you want for a specific purpose then put them in some sort of trust earmarked only for children or charity or something like that that can be untouchable in the case of divorce. That's probably the best way to do things. Consult a lawyer on how to make that happen.

You shouldn't get married anyway if you don't trust your spouse or live in any sort of fear as that will change your behavior toward them in a foolish way (walking on eggshells). The biggest thing is to make sure they are a true Christian who has their own walk with Jesus and are good about following the Scriptures and repenting if they sin. She should be easily teachable and should be good at following your lead as well. If you have a woman like this, she'll generally stick with you through thick and thin.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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