Tag: nuclear family

I Can Prepare a Prenuptial Agreement for You, but With Rare, Particular Exception, I Advise Against It.

Most attorney websites that contain “articles” on prenuptial agreements aren’t really articles but thinly veiled sales pitches for prenuptial agreements. This post is not one of those.

I have always believed and still believe that prenuptial agreements breed distrust, disloyalty, and defeatism in marriage for young people who contemplate marriage for the first time. That stated, at this point in my career as a divorce attorney (27 years), I struggle more than ever over the value and appropriateness of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Why?

One reason: if you trust the legal system to do right by you and your family, your trust is misplaced. So very many family law attorneys are profiteers. Courts are understaffed, judges and commissioners get jaded, expedience too often substitutes for evidence. I cannot put it more clearly and concisely than this: “Extricate yourself from the system, don’t try to vindicate yourself within it” (Peretz Partensky). A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may (may) have value if it keeps the control of your divorce in your and your spouse’s hands instead of in the hands of a court.

Another reason: divorce laws and their application are unfair to men. Now, certainly there is plenty of unfairness to go around in the court’s treatment of women too, men generally get treated worse. Permit me to explain my perspective.

Men still generally have greater incomes and greater wealth than women generally. In no-fault divorces, men generally get soaked far more often than women. There are good men out there who married in the utmost good faith whose wives did more than simply use them up and cast them aside by divorcing them; they essentially enslaved their husbands for the rest of their good years (and into their not so good years) by stripping them of at least half of all they had, driving their husbands into debt, and burdening them with oftentimes ludicrous child support and alimony obligations. Because the law permits it.  A YouTuber named Pearl ( and her guests discuss this at length. As a result of the sheer volume of discussion alone, they do a good job of examining the problem. Although her content is principally light and entertaining, the reality and the cognitive dissonance underlying her content is compelling.

The solution to the misery of divorce does not lie, however, in “making divorce laws fairer.”

Ensuring fairness and equity in divorce is important, no question, but the “divorce problem” is much greater than a legal problem and its solution does not even begin to lie in merely changing laws or enforcing them better. Obviously, divorce needs to exist to remedy serious threats and injustices that cannot be remedied any other way. But divorce is far too easy now, and marriage is criminally undervalued. It’s destroying our culture.

This may seem odd coming from a divorce attorney, but I believe to my core in marriage and family. We all need to devote ourselves to fostering and preserving and improving marriage and family life as the greatest source and protector of personal and societal purpose, peace and prosperity. There are causes bigger than ourselves and that are worthy of our sacrifices to see them succeed. Marriage and family are two of them. We are better individually by being loving and devoted members of a nuclear family. Even Kramden ( or Bickersons ( )-style marriage and family life is far better than a world littered with broken marriages and families, self-absorption, and loneliness. Children need and deserve (it is their right!) to be reared in a nuclear family by a loving mother and father.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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Should marriages have sunset clauses?


Thank God for marriage. Thank God for nuclear families. The last thing we need is one more to undermine the sanctity of marriage and family. The reason is obvious:

Some people may make a mess of their marriages, but that’s not the fault of marriage. What do I mean?

Some people suggest that we should have sunset clauses on marriages to help reduce the number of divorces and the costs and other difficulties associated with divorce actions in court. That’s ridiculous. The key to reducing divorces is not to eliminate marriage. We don’t outlaw alcohol to prevent drunk driving. Food is not outlawed to prevent obesity. Debt is was not made illegal to prevent bankruptcy. The point here is that the destructively high rate of divorce, and drunk driving, and bankruptcy is a crisis of character.

Do not misunderstand me. Some people drive drunk innocently, having no idea they are impaired and having no desire to drive while impaired. Others have no intention of incurring crushing that they can’t possibly pay. Not everyone who eats food is obese.

Likewise (and thankfully), most people marry with the intention of staying married. Just because some of these people’s marriages end in divorce through no fault of their own (such as through adultery or domestic violence or mental illness) does not mean that we should do away with marriage and thus do away with divorce in the process.

Far too many people are marrying carelessly and divorcing carelessly. Do you really think divorce is the solution to their “marital” problems? People who marry carelessly, who married for selfish purposes, and who failed to give their marriages the attention and to make the personal sacrifices a successful marriage needs aren’t going to be helped by divorce. They’ll still be the same careless and irresponsible people, just not married anymore. Their carelessness and irresponsibility will take its toll in other ways and on other people.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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