It is a common factual pattern that I often see: the future spouse does not want a marriage agreement, but his parents insist. A marital agreement is reached. The woman feels that her husband could not resist his parents and loses all respect for him. Perhaps even more statistics that opened our eyes to marital agreements: divorce laws are fair. That`s why they were developed. Trust them (and your goodwill and sense of fairness to each other) to do the right thing at the time of divorce. Don`t rely on a number of financial agreements made years before marriage, which cannot be fully synchronized with the actual facts at the time of divorce. Do you believe that the pre-marriage agreement has made your marriage stronger and more likely to succeed. Marriage is a mixture of complicated laws, customs, expectations and cultural understanding. A pre-marriage contract will unexpectedly disrupt this balance and inevitably have unintended consequences. "Heather has received significant confirmation that marital agreements are not usually concluded," says Samuel R. Rosenthal, professor of law and economics Steven Shavell, director of the Olin Center and one of Mahar`s advisors for the project.
"This is an important finding for scholars of contract and family law. Moreover, it has a considerable political impact. A marital agreement occurs when a couple is close to marriage, but one or both spouses have assets that protect them from a future divorce. The agreement is signed before marriage and is a fundamental pillar that approves certain provisions relating to the assets to be protected. The wedding is an exciting joint venture. If certain aspects of the joint venture are eliminated by the pre-marital contract, the marriage weakens. The financial partnership is an important part of the joint venture of marriage. A spouse may, quite rightly, feel that part of this aspect of the marriage has been removed when a pre-marital contract is entered into, which reduces the rights of the spouse. Marital negotiations are generally one-sided, but "disguised" to claim that there are considerations on both sides for the treaty. Often, the initative party (or his lawyer) says, "You can put the pre-marital contract in a drawer and forget about it." It`s not true. The pre-marriage treaty should not be forgotten and will probably be legally binding as soon as it is removed from the drawer.
Her study, which she has published in several journals, confirmed her suspicions that people are falsely optimistic about the success of their marriages and fear that the requirement of a marriage agreement will signal uncertainty about marriage. The fear of what she called "signaling" was also evident: 62% of respondents felt that the requirement of marriage sent a negative signal for the future of marriage. From gossip pages (think Ben Affleck and J. Lo) to ordinary people, fear of signals seems to deter couples from discussing an exit plan when they enter marriage. Mahar is no exception. Reality 3: Marriages are generally not suitable for people who marry before, whether or not there are differences in income and wealth. The mandatory pre-decision, Mahar believes, would erase the fear that they would signal a partner`s preparation for divorce. "For me, it`s a way that can be imposed by the state to get couples to talk about things through the kind of marriage you want, and — maybe it`s hard to say, but there are legal consequences if you should turn away from that trajectory," she says. "For me, it`s a pre-wedding consultation." Heather Mahar, a fellow at the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics and Business at Harvard Law School and a Harvard Law graduate in 2002, is among the remaining 90%.