Pre-nuptial or pre-marital agreements designed to protect one’s assets and ensure some financial support to extend to the other spouse in the event of a divorce can be a double-edged sword. Such agreements can result in unpredictable outcomes and hurt the very person who is trying to protect him/her self.
For example, a husband-to-be is wealthy and has his bride sign a prenuptial agreement stating that in the event of a divorce he will provide her with maintenance based upon the number of years in marriage. By the time the couple divorces, the wife is entitled to the maximum maintenance award provided by the agreement. But by that same time the stock market crashed and the husband is destitute.
If the husband did not have his bride sign a prenuptial agreement, he would pay her nothing during the divorce. But now, the prenuptial agreement provides for large sums of money, that seemed relatively small and reasonable at the time of signing the pre-nuptial agreement, to be still paid to the wife.
Who could have predicted this turn of events? We all can envision a possibility of loss of money. But we do not predict that if you lose money, you still got to pay according to what you used to have.
Solution? As in preparation of any contract, whether it is a contract for a business or family matter, the best drafting requires to predict all sorts of events that could possibly occur in the future and provide guidance in the event of such events actually taking place.