New York, NY-There was a time when prenuptials seemed to be tacky or an affront to the romance of marriage. In this day and age, with close to half of all marriages ending in divorce, a prenuptial agreement is considered a savvy move especially for wealthy or well-off couples. These agreements give both parties a sense of security and assurances that they won’t get taken to the cleaners in divorce. But sometimes prenuptials include strict or even strange provisions which set very high expectations for a spouse. Will these strange provisions drive a couple to divorce and will a court consider them valid?
In a 2012 survey of divorce attorneys, the American Association of Matrimonial Attorneys found that 51 percent saw an increase of couples requesting prenuptial agreements. This a good idea for couples who stand to lose a lot in divorce, but as the number of prenuptial agreements rise so to do the number of unusual and strict requests. These stringent requests have more to with the demands placed on spouse than they deal with who will get what in the event of divorce. Not only do these requests put an undue strain on a marriage but they can be dismissed by a court, invalidating the prenuptial altogether.
Most strict prenuptial provisions pertain to a couple’s sex life, one spouse’s appearance, hair color and visits from in-laws and family. The possibilities are endless and judges have heard them all.
It isn’t unusual for couples to include provision pertaining to sex; how often they would like to have it, what types of activities a partner should engage in, etc. For instance, a man may request that his wife consent to sex on a daily basis. Or, a woman may request that her man’s performance in the bedroom must be to her satisfaction.
Before “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd married her estranged husband, Lamar Sally, he wanted her to sign off on prenuptial agreement which demanded she “enjoy having sex with her husband” and “crave intimacy” with him that is “uninhibited and free” between the sheets. Shepherd however refused to sign off on these requests and they were dropped from the agreement.
Looks are important and a without attraction love can fade, but many prenuptials contain unrealistic and overly controlling provisions about spouses appearance. A man can require that his spouse maintain a certain weight throughout the duration of their marriage. A person can request their spouse exercise a specified number of days each week or keep their hair a certain color.
While these requests may seem reasonable to some, the pressure of trying to meet these demands can drive wedge between a two individuals and actually cause a breakdown of their relationship. This type of conditional love can drive a couple farther apart than closer. What’s more, a court can decide to void a prenuptial because a specific requirement can be considered unconscionable, meaning they are excessive of unreasonable.
When a couple decides a prenuptial agreement is best in their circumstances, divorce attorney will advise them on what requirements are reasonable and how to make certain their agreement stands up in court.