I Do: Let’s Discuss Pre-Nup

Why do people have pre-nups? Not exactly a romantic interlude to fill in while you uh..go about discussing the honeymoon bit.

I am a big fan of Donald Trump. I read his books, his blog, watch his shows, quote him where possible. In one of his memorable piece, he blogged on pre-nups. 

I’d also like to quote what he said on Paul McCartney, “I watched Larry King before they were married and Larry said ‘Sir Paul, are you going to have a prenuptial agreement?’ Paul said, ‘I don’t want one because we’re deeply in love’. I thought, ‘What a mistake. This guy is a schmuck’ .”

Ok. I may not be Sir Paul’s ex wife neither I am nowhere near Donald’s but I am all for a pre nup. Not because there is no trust in the relationship, but because things may change down the road and we want to do what is right for our love ones. As it is, a pre-nup will remain words unless things change.

The Other Half and I have been discussing about this for a while now and I am pleased to know that we share the same views. Although I may not go the entire length to blog out what we have been discussing, I am happy to find out that we are not conceptualizing some crazy and bizarre pre-nups that resembles something like this:

Sex life clause: we shall have sex not less than four times per week, but no more than seven.

Chore clause: this defines who takes out the garbage and who walks the dog.

 Earlier in 2008, Newsday and the Chicago Tribune reported that some other conditions found in prenuptial agreements. Read the rest of the article here:

  • The right to perform random drug tests, with money paid as a penalty if the results were positive.
  • A spouse being limited to no more than one football game on Sunday during the season.
  • A spouse being allowed to opt out of all vacations with in-laws.
  • The use of frequent-flier miles as payback if a spouse was proven to be cheating.
  • A payout of $100,000 for every time a spouse cheated. 
  • Limiting a wife’s weight to 120 pounds, with a penalty of $100,000 if she gained a pound or two. 

It is said that someone out there has invented a game called Game Tree Analysis that analyse probability of a divorce. The different outcomes from the presence or absence of a pre-nup are mapped out in the game. The game reveals that an Equilibrium Paradox exists and that many people greatly underestimate the likelihood of a divorce.

Interestingly, the game also reveal that a pre-nup is much common in second marriage, third and so on marriage.

I have tried to look up on the web for a reading with regards to drafting out a pre-nup in Islamic context. Many articles out there but not quite what I was looking for in a local Malaysian context. I know for a fact that an aqad in Islam is already a contract by itself but not so many women are aware of their rights in having their input or being educated about their rights.

An article that caught my eyes recently was written by Rabia Mills who wrote of women’s right in marriage contract in Canadian local context. Interesting read. 

In June 2001, during a workshop organized by Sisters In Islam, Saadiah Din a syariah practitioner presented her papers on divorce for Muslim women in Malaysia. I quote here:

“…….Saadiah Din found that divorce proceedings in Syariah courts are more lengthy and difficult. There are also complaints of the wife filing for divorce being subjected to unfair bargaining during negotiations. If the wife who has filed for divorce agrees not to apply for mutaah and maintenance, the husband may agree not to object to the divorce application, thus making it much easier for the wife to obtain her divorce. If the wife refuses to renounce her financial claim, the husband would object to her divorce application, resulting in complicated and lengthy proceedings. Therefore, she feels that the court should recognize the women’s rights so that women should not be intimidated into renouncing their financial rights in order to get a divorce. “

I can relate to Saadah Din’s thoughts on this as I was one of the many women who took the very same route as what she quoted.

So, coming back to this controversial issue, does anyone feel otherwise about writing down a pre-nup?

To end this piece, I’d like to share a thought given by a friend to me this morning , “Always agree on your pre-nup before sending out your wedding invite, not after”.


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