Dear Grandparenting: Granddaughter Frances stunned our whole family and everyone else when she called off her June wedding to a guy she called Mr. Wonderful. They dated for years. She knew him inside and out.
Seems our Mr. Wonderful tried to pull a fast one last week. Out of the blue, he wanted her to sign a prenuptial agreement his lawyer drew up. It specified the dollar amount she would receive for each year of marriage if they split up. Mr. Wonderful is one of those hi-tech geeks who makes big bucks working six months a year.
That was the deal breaker for Frances. She lost trust since it showed his lack of commitment. Every marriage has its ups and downs. I’m interested in your opinion of these so-called “prenups.” Things like that never occurred to me when I got married. We were head over heels in love and still are. Lenore Cawley, Manchester, New Hampshire
Dear Lenore: Prenuptial contracts are legally binding documents specifying who gets what should a marriage collapse and both go their separate ways. And in a nation with as many lawyers and divorces as in America, business is booming, especially among the young.
It’s a delicate subject. For some like your granddaughter, it’s the kiss of death that sucks the romance right out of the relationship. But among the Millennial generation of grandchildren born during the 1980s and 1990s, the idea seems to make more sense.
Americans are delaying marriage according to U.S. Census data. The longer they wait to marry, the more time they have to accumulate assets they may wish to protect. And since many Millennials are children of divorce, they are more inclined to look out for their own interests. Others want prenups so they won’t be on the hook for things like a partner’s substantial student debt or want a full accounting of assets and liabilities.
Women today are more independent and career-minded than previous generations, earning the lion’s share of college degrees and higher starting salaries. Male Millennials aren’t the only ones thinking they need to cover their bases. The beauty of a prenup is that a couple, not the courts, decides how to go about it.
Grand remark of the week
Cindy Lou Barber from Marysville, Washington reports that her grandchildren can “definitely get under my skin. I shouldn’t have to tell them 10 times to do what needs doing.”
So she sent away for a wall plaque that she saw advertised in a magazine. It reads, “Lord, Give me Patience. And I Want It Now!”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.