Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

by Arlene Dubin

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This ring-to-altar guide is a valentine to anyone who's dating, contemplating marriage, living with someone, or engaged.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


This ring-to-altar guide is a valentine to anyone who's dating, contemplating marriage, living with someone, or engaged.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book addresses the need for prenuptial agreements and how they are created. Attorney and former journalist Dubin draws on her years as a matrimonial lawyer to make the case that prenuptial contracts protect and empower women, encourage communication about money, and contribute to the overall health of a marriage. The author reviews the common misconceptions about prenups and uses true-to-life profiles of couples to illustrate how agreements can be drafted to cover a variety of personal situations. She includes as a sample her own prenuptial contract and a useful checklist of financial issues that should be addressed before the walk down the aisle. Charts provide information on the marital and cohabitation laws in each state as well as some amusing and interesting tidbits about the prenups of the rich and famous. Clear and entertaining, this book is a good starting place for those considering a prenuptial agreement. Recommended for most public libraries.--Joan Pedzich, Harris, Beach & Wilcox, Rochester, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
This reviewer's first reaction to this reference book was: "I'm married almost a quarter of a century, why would I bother to read a non-fiction centering on prenuptial agreements?" I went in for a taste and completed Prenups For Lovers. After reading Arlene G. Dublin's guidebook, I realized that I not only learned a lot, but changed my mind about prenups. This tome should be must reading for anyone (either gender) thinking of getting married. Ms. Dublin debunks the non-romanticism that makes the prenup seem more like a cold business contract by emphasizing the importance of honest discussions on finances, future goals, and the consideration that each partner expects from the marriage. There are numerous tips with an index that helps the user focus on a particular topic and an easy to use sample prenup. The bottom line is that this helpful book does more than just coldly protect assets, which is important. It reminds couples that communication is the key to keeping a marriage from ending with a divorce decree and that should start before the "I Do".

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Random House Publishing Group
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Read an Excerpt


After a twelve-year marriage and a seven-year divorce proceeding, I married a lifelong bachelor. How did we do it? Although the complete answer could be the subject of another book, a principal reason is our prenuptial agreement.

Since my prenup paved the way to a magical marriage, it obviously has a great deal of sentimental value to me. I have it placed in a Tiffany bowl in our living room along with my dried bouquet and other romantic reminders of our wedding.

The reason that our prenup catapulted our relationship into marriage is because it enabled us, admittedly each a bit marriage challenged, to confront our worst fears. Concerned that I might become a two-time loser in marriage, I didn't want to lose another seven years in a divorce proceeding. As for my husband, in the event that bachelorhood was his ultimate destiny, he wanted to avoid any unpleasant property disputes.

Perhaps the greatest value of our prenup, though, was in its successful negotiation to completion. The process promoted honesty and openness and strengthened the bond between us. There is an old bromide that money is the last thing that people talk about before marriage and the first thing they fight about after marriage. That didn't happen to us! We had avoided our first fight.

We disclosed our assets and liabilities, expressed ourselves as to how these would be handled in various possible scenarios, and — what do you know? — We were still wild about each other. In fact, we felt closer than ever, because these practical, mundane issues were no longer ticking time bombs. Our relationship was grounded in reality, not illusion; we were marrying for love, not money. Our prenup swept aside the business part of our relationship, allowing us to enjoy the pleasures of our anticipated union.

From the vantage point of my own situation as well as my matrimonial practice, I have seen a prenup as a marriage enabler and a marriage enhancer. I have concluded that a prenup is for just about everyone. It should be standard issue for impending nuptials, along with the license and the ring, and part of the romance of courtship, like moonlight and roses.


Flashback to my divorce: Over the course of seven years, my ex-husband and I each were represented by serial lawyers. (Unfortunately, this is the norm in matrimonial cases, although Patricia Duff in her tiff with Revlon billionaire Ronald Perelman may have abused the privilege with her twenty-five teams of lawyers.)

During this protracted proceeding, I took a crash course in family law. My case introduced me to the gamut of family law issues-equitable distribution, pension split-ups, divorce taxes, child support and custody, etc. I knew I could do legal work as well as or better than the next lawyer, so I researched, studied, and investigated and emerged an expert in the field.

For my entire legal career of more than twenty years, I have had the privilege of practicing law with my partners at RubinBaum LLP in New York City. Our firm represents corporations, entrepreneurial enterprises, and individuals in a full-service general practice. At the time of my divorce, I specialized in employee benefits and executive compensation. Our firm had done prenuptial agreements, but generally referred matrimonial work to other lawyers. After my divorce, I convinced my partners to turn matrimonial work over to me. I had the education, the experience, and, most important, the empathy.


In the course of practicing domestic relations law, I became passionate about prenups.

One of my observations is the transmogrifying effect of divorce on the human personality; it brings out a hidden dark side in many people. Your beloved becomes bedeviled. Your kitten becomes a wildcat in this negatively charged atmosphere, individuals are supposed to make rational choices profoundly affecting the rest of their lives. Most mortals cannot accomplish this feat. Many of us resort to counterproductive litigation rather than compromise and conciliation. We go out of our way-far out of our way-to disrupt the process and dismay the soon-to-be ex. As the late criminal defense lawyer Louis Nizer once said, "There is no murder trial, nothing that happens in the law, as acrimonious as divorce."

A prenup is a vaccine against this virulent illness. You discuss your concerns openly in advance and negotiate solutions when you are favorably disposed to your intended and in an atmosphere of mutual good faith. You arrive at a fair solution without the need for expensive and lengthy litigation. You spend less time extricating yourself from a failed relationship and more time ushering in your new life. And your children suffer far fewer side effects. A prenup assures that, in the off chance that you do end up in divorce court, you will be treated on an outpatient basis-not in the intensive care unit.

Meet the Author

Arlene G. Dubin is a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm with offices in 9 cities. She and her husband are happily married - with a prenup, of course.

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