Don’t Hate Me for This.
There’s not much romantic about marriage, tbh. Yes, I’m a divorce lawyer, so my clinical take on the institution is understandable. The truth is, though, marriage is strictly a corporate endeavor between two unwitting shareholders. It’s sorta like stumbling into a business enterprise whose partnership agreement no one even reads first. (And, trust me, there is a partnership agreement—google this for some light bedtime reading: “Chapter 50 of the General Statutes”).
If you weren’t religious going into your marriage, you certainly will be when you come out of it. Why? Because that statute I just mentioned is the holy writ of the marriage bond. It may not be a religion you were baptized into or had even heard of, for that matter. The vast majority of us don’t even know the sacrosanct text exists until the marriage ends. Alas. What’s more regrettable is that it takes a mere three letters of the English language to seal the matrimonial bond (to its speakers’ potential detriment): I-D-O. Poof, you’re now equal shareholders in this quasi corporation we call marriage. (As an aside, I just saw a meme that became the impetus for this, my now annual, blog-writing exercise: “Still being single at 32 just means I statistically avoided my first divorce.” How true.)
Sorry for such an austere view of marriage. But it’s kinda reality. And, one becomes a teensy bit saddened I suppose after seeing people burn through their marital savings on lawyers to sever this corporate bond. All because they just don’t like each other anymore.
Maybe it should be a prerequisite for marriage, then, that the parties attend a Basics in Family Law course to learn what they’re getting themselves into. Ugh, how boring. Would two savvy business people ever sign off on a deal without discussing the rules outlining their financial undertaking? Unlikely. Why shouldn’t prospective spouses at least do their due diligence and learn, for example, that every dollar one of them saves is as much the other party’s dollar as the one who “earned” it? Or that “my” retirement is really just as much yours as it is mine? Why shouldn’t parents wanting kids be required to play the oh-so-fun “Worksheet A, B, or C?” game based on their previous year’s W2s and tax returns? God, even more boring. That game would take all the sexiness out of your engagement. The posts on FB and Insta would be dreadful.
Call me to discuss your prenuptial agreement.