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How do I protect my assets before marriage?

Monday, April 24, 2017

My last blog post probably didn't sit well with most female readers, if not all, even though it is quite a common view among the guys. 

I know, sexism is alive and it is very much the case for both guys and girls, if I may add.

Then, a reader brought up the issue of prenuptial agreements.

Source: HERE.

What is a prenuptial agreement or prenup?

prenuptial agreementantenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a contract entered into prior to marriagecivil union or any other agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce. (Source: Wikipedia.)

I have always thought that marriage should happen because a couple want to have children. If they do not wish to have children, they don't need to be married. Marriage becomes a want in such a case.

Of course, in Singapore, a couple might get married just because they need (or want) to get a HDB flat but stay childless. Uniquely Singaporean.

In any case, I feel that there should be trust before a couple embark on such a major decision. If they don't trust each other, then, why get married and have children? Indeed, not just why but how?

I am mostly a pragmatic person but I dislike prenuptial agreements because I think they are like the thorns on roses. They are ugly things in what should be beautiful.

However, like the thorns on roses, I have come to accept that they could be necessary for some people, the rich people. See, told you I am pragmatic.

Having said that, would girls marry guys who want to have prenuptial agreements? 

Indeed, would guys want to marry girls who want to have prenuptial agreements? 

After all, it could be a case of a rich wife and a poor husband. 

See? AK is not sexist.


Spur said...

Hmm bad news for that reader --- prenups are not really enforceable particularly if both parties are Singapore citizens and the prenup entered into under Singapore law.

The landmark case in 2009 where the Court Of Appeal upheld a prenup was because both parties were foreigners, the prenup entered to under their foreign country system of law (and expressly stated & agreed by both parties in the prenup contract), and that prenups are common & enforced in their foreign country of origin. The Singapore courts basically sent a message saying that divorcing foreign spouses should not expect to escape their foreign prenups by coming to Singapore & then filing for divorce in Singapore.

Singapore citizens would not get such favourable consideration for their prenup. At best it would be taken similarly as a mitigation plea, and judges will use it to guide their decisions. But the Singapore court has absolute discretion in how assets, responsibilities etc are to be handled in Singaporean divorces.

But irrespective of whether Singaporeans or foreigners with foreign prenups, the Singapore courts will always follow the Womens' Charter especially with regards to parents providing support to children & men providing alimony to the women. No prenup can override these Womens' Charter provisions in S'pore courts. What is equitable support & alimony can be argued, but generally it would be similar to what has been experienced & can be expected in future if the marriage had not broken down.

AK71 said...

Hi Spur,

"No prenup can override these Womens' Charter provisions in S'pore courts."

OK, case closed.

Best for guys to avoid marriages in Singapore then. ;p

AK71 said...

From my FB wall:

Matthew Seah:
A prenuptial agreement (or term thereof) which contravenes any express provision or legislative policy embodied within the Women’s Charter will not be upheld. In divorce proceedings, the court is entitled to scrutinise the prenuptial agreement and decline to uphold the agreement if it contradicts the requirements of the Women’s Charter.

Nick said...

Under Singapore law, the court has the power to order the division of matrimonial assets in a “just and equitable manner”. Court will take into account various factors, listed in Section 112(2) of the Women’s Charter, to achieve a fair result whilst dividing contested assets. They are:
1. The extent of financial contributions towards these assets.

2. The extent of non-financial contributions towards the welfare of the family. These include looking after the household and caring for any elderly or infirmed family members. The extent which support is given to allow the other party to pursue his/her career is also considered.

3. Debt owed. The Court will look into whether the debt was taken for the joint benefit of both parties, for individual benefit, or for the child’s benefit.

4. The needs of the child. In determining the child’s needs, the Courts will take into account the party whom care and control over the child has been given.

5. Any pre-nuptial agreements towards the divisions of assets

6. The financial independence of each party after divorce. The Courts will consider the working abilities and qualifications of both parties.

7. The needs of each party after divorce

Nonetheless, it should be noted that the proportions for the division of matrimonial assets are determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no default position with regard to this issue.

AK71 said...

Hi Nick,

In a nutshell, the Court has the final say. Actually, I shouldn't be surprised since the PAP government has been described as patriarchal in nature. I guess if I like the CPF, I should have to accept this too. Same same but different. LOL.

gagmewithaspoon said...

From a pragmatic woman pov - don't flame me. I think marriage should be entered into in the right spirit, that is to live with each other, to have and to hold, to support each other until death do you part. If men were attracted to young hot women who are flighty, materialistic and shallow, then isn't it a trade off that you get their youth and beauty in exchange for money? Unfortunately, women to me are at the losing end in most marriages. Sorry, good women, not bad women. Good women who don't mind saving money, raising kids to their best of abilities often to the detriment of their careers, looks and fashion sense, trying their best to put family and kids before them. At the end of the day, what do they have when their men strays? A lackluster career or nothing if they are stay at home mums, kids who are now torn apart by their dads leaving, a figure that has been stretched apart by pregnancy, do they still look good at 45? i hardly think so, but men can still marry someone else at 45 and they likely then not still have a career. Can you imagine how hard it is for a stay at home mum to go back to the work force after 10 years of looking after kids? If in doubt, just think about your own mum going back to work after being a housewife for 10 over years. Was she living a life of luxury those 10 years? Bad women though, probably had spend all their husband's money but they traded their youth for it. So well, i wont' say men is always at the losing end.

AK71 said...

Hi gag,

All very good points and I am glad you took the time to share.

Is that your blog? I didn't know you are a blogger too.

We should do a link exchange.

I have included a link to your blog in my blog's RESOURCES section in the left sidebar. :)

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