People talk about marriage often in glowing terms, focusing only on what happens between the two people in more of an emotional sense. They talk about dedication or how it is a commitment to one another. They talk about getting married because they fell in love and want to spend their lives together.
Rarely, though, do they talk about how marriage is actually a legal contract. Think of it like a partnership agreement. You both sign on to work together in the relationship, just as business partners do.
A big difference, though, is that people rarely add anything at all to this contract. A partnership agreement would include financial details, information about assets and tactics that would be used to end the partnership. It may talk about dispute resolution and what to do if one person wanted to leave the business before the other.
A marriage contract does not, and that’s what makes divorce so complicated. People do not agree on anything up front, so they have to figure it all out as the marriage ends. Who owns what? How can they divide it? Who gets the children? Why did the divorce happen? There are a lot of questions to ask, and the contract doesn’t help.
In some cases, this is why people sign prenuptial agreements. They want to examine the legal side and determine what they will do if the marriage ends. For many, though, this feels insulting, and so they choose to do nothing at all.
If you’re now getting divorced and finding that it’s overly complex, take the time to look into your options.