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Why can a prenup be a sticking point in a high-asset divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2024 | Divorce

Before getting married in Michigan, some people sign a prenuptial agreement. These legal documents can safeguard assets in the event of a divorce.

However, they may become sources of contention for one or both people who do end up in the divorce process.

Financial expectations and social status

In high-profile engagements, the desire to achieve or maintain a certain lifestyle and uphold societal standards can create an atmosphere where signing a prenup is inevitable. The fear of judgment or the potential loss of social standing may lead individuals to reluctantly agree to terms they may not fully understand or endorse.

Family pressures and inheritance concerns

Michigan has a 5.97% concentration of millionaires, and some of that wealth is generational. Family dynamics play an important role in influencing the decision-making process surrounding prenuptial agreements.

In some cases, families may exert pressure on individuals to sign a prenup to protect family wealth and inheritance. The less-wealthy partner may also feel pressure from their family members to sign rather than risk a relationship with someone who is financially well off. The fear of disappointing or estranging family members can lead to a sense of obligation to sign a prenup, even if it goes against personal values or desires.

Unequal distribution of wealth

Individuals who bring significantly fewer assets to the union may feel pressure to sign an agreement that appears to favor their wealthier partner. The fear of financial vulnerability post-divorce may overshadow concerns about fairness or equity.

Fear of relationship failure

The fear of an engagement ending can be a powerful motivator to sign a prenup. Individuals may succumb to pressure from their partner to reduce confrontation or to reassure their partner of their commitment to the relationship. This fear-driven decision-making process can cloud judgment and result in agreements that may not withstand the test of time.

By acknowledging the various factors at play, individuals who feel their prenup is unfair may be able to challenge its validity.