A pre-nuptial agreement, which is commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a written contract between two people who are about to marry.  This contract sets out the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of the property of each, and potential division if the marriage is later dissolved.

These agreements are fairly common if either or both parties have substantial assets, children from a prior marriage, potential inheritances, high incomes, or have been cheated by a prior spouse.

In other words a pre-nuptial is an agreement made by a couple before marriage concerning the ownership of their respective assets should the marriage fail. Crazy right? Whoever thinks that their marriage will fail even before they get married? Most people certainly don’t.

Till death do us apart, right? Well, divorce happens, whether or not we envisioned it. And so far as relationships breakdown, there is a place for the prenup. In Ghana however, our laws does not recognize a pre-nuptial agreement. Is it time for Ghana to amend the law in consideration of a prenup?

Some people hold the view that asking for a prenup is a sign that you do not trust your partner and if you do not trust your partner, you probably shouldn’t marry her or him, anyway.

Even though some believe a prenup encourages marital breakup, I completely disagree.  If you marry for love, it shouldn’t matter if there is a prenup involved or not.

Of course nobody expects you to enter a relationship and invest much time, energy, and money in it only to get nothing back when a breakdown occurs. What you and your partner create together is yours as well but the assets they bring into the marriage, should be viewed as theirs. If they decide to share it with you, sure that is kind and welcomed.

In a country like the USA, prenups are usually upheld except in certain circumstances like the closeness of your wedding date to the date prenuptial was signed.  The closer the wedding date to the date the prenuptial was signed, the greater the danger that it will not be upheld.

Also,  if one side was represented by a lawyer and the other was not, or both sides were represented by the same lawyer, and either party can argue that he or she did not understand what was signed the prenuptial agreement may not be valid. If the parties failed to disclose their assets, the prenuptial can be attacked on that basis.

The courts in the United Kingdom have the discretion to waive any pre- or postnuptial agreement, especially when it is unfair to any children of the marriage.

Prenup or no prenup, you should be looking out not only for your interest but also for your partner’s interest when a relationship breaks down. But this is not always the case is it?

Don’t be the fool in any relationship but also, don’t try to be too much of a smart ass. Find the right balance and be kind to one another.

Source: By Dormaa Yeboah