Opinions about prenups divided on Labs

January 23, 2013, 5:10 PM GMT+0

A year ago, when Prince William refused to sign a prenuptial agreement with his fiancée Kate Middleton before their wedding, the press called it a ‘romantic gesture’, describing Prince William as ‘loving’.

However, when Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married her former fitness instructor Daniel Westling, agreements were made to define ‘how the wealth would be divided should they separate’.

We wanted to know whether Labs participants would sign a prenuptial agreement, if asked by their partner.

We asked:

  • Would you sign a prenuptial agreement, if asked by your fiancée?

Here’s what we found…

While most Labs participants said they would sign a prenuptial agreement, only a very small difference emerged between the number of those who would and those who would not.

Participants who would sign a prenuptial agreement

  • One of the main reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement was to ensure a fair distribution of wealth in case of a divorce.
  • In case of their partner being really well-off, participants would sign a prenuptial agreement to prove their fiancée that they are not marrying them for their wealth.
  • Marriage is not only romance, but also a business relationship. Prenuptial agreement would protect both parties, some Labs participants said.
  • Some Labs participants believed relationships are not meant to last, so signing a prenuptial agreement is a sensible action, they believed.

Participants who would NOT sign a prenuptial agreement

  • Some Labs participants would not sign a prenuptial agreement as they feel it would undermine their trust in a relationship. They also believed it would show a lack of commitment.
  • If asked to sign one, some Labs participants said they would feel that their partner does not trust them enough. Others said it would be an insult to their relationship.
  • People should be able to work things out sensibly if divorce was needed, many Labs participants believed.
  • Signing a prenuptial agreement is like saying ‘we are not sure this is going to work’, a few Labs participants said. A marriage should not begin with ‘what if we break up’.

Click on the headings below to read participants’ comments.

Participants who would sign a prenuptial agreement

“I would if one of us had been considerably richer than the other when we married. As we were both poor it wasn't necessary.” Anon

“I’m an independent earner and believe what I bring to relationship I should be able to walk away with.” Marie c, Leeds

“If I was the main breadwinner out of a pair, then I would not want my partner to receive a share of my wealth if he had not contributed equally to it. If I trusted that I would be with that person for the rest of my life, then I would sign it as it would never be needed, and I can see from both sides of the relationship.” Amy, Durham

“I don't plan to marry as I see it as completely irrelevant and unnecessary in this day and age, but if I did intend to, a prenuptial agreement would be mandatory. There are a significant number of people who enter marriages with intent to profit by getting a divorce and taking the other person's stuff, house, and money. The fact that I'm male makes this worse, as in their current state, divorce courts discriminate heavily against men regardless context, or the circumstances of the couple.” Anonymous

“I would sign a prenuptial agreement if I was asked by my partner because if we were married then that proves trust, and plus we would both pay for everything so it should be equal.” Beth L, liverpool

“A pre-nup can protect both parties. There is romance in a marriage but it is also a business relationship, you build your marriage assets together and it’s good to be realistic about that. If your marriage is really strong a pre-nup would not affect it, so in a way a pre-nup is really romantic.” Leicester

“I would sign a prenuptial agreement to protect both of our assets that might have been gained prior to marriage. All too often you hear of people who lose everything to an ex-spouse who might not have even been around when the assets/wealth were gained. I don't think that it is unromantic - it is being sensible. You don't insure your car thinking that you will be in an accident. It's just protecting yourself and your wealth. Rachael, Swindon

“In this transient time, relationships are NOT made to last; it is not fair to expect joint wealth the be earned and not shared fairly, it is equally unfair to expect one partner to go into a relationship with significantly more wealth than the other and to lose a part of that if the relationship fails.” Barnsley

“It shows that you are not with them because of any potential financial gains.” Rob H, Maidstone

Sometimes marriages go wrong. After a time it could be dispensed it if both agree. Sensible if you are the wealthiest of the two of you.” William, lincs

“I love my partner, I am financially secure though she has more than I have I wouldn’t want a share of her estate if things turned sour.” tony, York

“I think this is too simple a question, as there may be many reasons for a prenup. If I was to Marry a Multi-Millionaires and gave everything to the marriage then I would expect a settlement in the event of a breakdown that reflected that, however if I was ejected on a whim and received nothing then I would feel cheated.” Davie John, Hampshire

Participants who would NOT sign a prenuptial agreement

“I feel it would undermine the sense of trust that a relationship should be built upon.” Jack, London

“I feel my partner should trust me enough to not need a piece of paper to prove it.” Anon

“Marriage should be about love not money.” Anon

“I would not sign a prenuptial agreement, as if I did separate from my husband I would expect us to work out things sensibly. Also, I believe that marriage is for life.” Anon

“I think it is looking as though you are both saying were not sure whether this is going to work. To be honest, unless one person has an affair or is abusive (in which case the victim should get the majority) then it should be split based on who brought the most assets in unless there are children involved then the wife and children need to be cared for until they are old enough.” Anon

No need, before getting married the most important thing is that you really love the other person in all the ways that it is possible to love another person. You also need to be willing to work on your marriage through the rest of your lives - have been married nearly 40 years.” SY Yorks

Does not represent a trustworthy and loving relationship.” Anon

“I believe that if you are getting married you need to be certain, 100%, that you are marrying for the right reasons, love. Loving someone doesn't purely involve the physical and emotional aspect of love but also trust. I do feel that if you feel you need to sign a prenup there are some trust issues, even if you feel you're doing it for safety. I'm not religious but I do believe that marriage is a special thing and you should never marry someone out of haste, you should only ever marry when you're certain it's the right thing and with the right person, therefore if all that is the case you shouldn't feel the need to sign a prenup. It's like signing a prenup is saying you expect the marriage to possibly fail when you should really believe the marriage will last.” Amy, Hull

Marriage shouldn't start with a 'what if we break up'. The whole point is that you intend it to be forever.” Ruth, London

“If I didn't trust him I wouldn't be his partner.” Anon

“My opinion is that it is something that can be dealt with when the time comes. Predicting or preparing for the consequences of a divorce during the planning of one's wedding is making it more likely to happen, as it indicates a lack of confidence of their desire for each other.” London

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