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31 J. Psychiatry & L. 415 (2003)
The Psychology of Prenuptial Agreements

handle is hein.journals/jpsych31 and id is 423 raw text is: The Journal of Psychiatry & Law 31/Winter 2003

The psychology of prenuptial
Although prenuptial agreements appear to be growing in
popularity, the use such an agreement does not augur well for a
marriage. Almost invariably the agreement is sought by the
economically stronger party in order to render himselffinancially
invulnerable in the event of a divorce or to ensure that the spouse
receives nothing in the event that he dies. Such motivation usually
masks underlying troubles in the relationship involving issues
of power, trust and sharing. Most emotionally legitimate issues
are provided for by existing divorce law, and the desire to be
invulnerable notwithstanding prevailing law suggests problems
potentially fatal to the marriage.
With ever greater numbers of divorced people getting
remarried, lawyers are receiving more requests to draft
prenuptial agreements that spell out what happens if the
marriage ends in divorce or death. Textbooks and formbooks
have proliferated, as have continuing-education courses for
lawyers who want to master the technical details of
protecting their clients who are about to marry. What have
not been studied or taught, however, are the emotional
implications of a prenuptial agreement and the emotional

© 2004 by Federal Legal Publications, Inc.

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