Friday, May 19, 2006
Prenuptial Agreement
I read an article from last week. I forgot the website kaya ngayon ko lang na-post. Want to share it lang!

PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS: When love means having to say 'This is mine'

WHAT would you give to make sure that the two most common causes of trouble in marriages—money and properties—don't get invited into your bedroom? Changes in the Family Code in 1988 have caused more and more couples to consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement before
the wedding day—but the subject itself has also been known to break up engagements!

The truth is, nothing can douse water on romance as effectively as the word "prenup" as most tie it up with some nasty feelings like selfishness, breaking up, and lack of trust. But family wealth planners believe that it can save you from a lot of heartache and yes, money too.
"Couples have to understand the value of having a clear agreement on the most tricky issues facing marriage like money and properties, so that they can go on in planning the rest of their lives," says Eleanor M. Montenegro, a director at Sycip, Gorres & Velayo. SGV believes prenuptial agreements can be a very useful tool in family wealth planning, one of its areas of expertise.

But mind you, it's not just for the wealthy. Whether you are newlyweds Willie Revillame and former beauty queen Liz Almoro or Rep. Miguel Zubiri, who will soon tie the knot with TV veejay Audrey Tan, you might want to consider the following facts before walking down the aisle.

In 1988, changes in the Family Code stated that married couples are to be bound by "absolute community" in terms of money and property. That bit of jargon means your partner will have an equal right to everything you owned before the marriage.

Here's the more interesting part. The Family Code also says that in cases of disagreements, the husband's decision is law.

This is very different from the pre-1988 version of the Code that requires couples to be ruled by the concept of "conjugal property," where partners bring into the marriage only the fruits of their labor, and not their actual properties. Lovebirds may be too busy to notice and say absolute community--whatever it is--is fine. But if you are in any of the following situations, SGV's family wealth planning group says you better sit up and hold your horses:

* if you have assets that your grandfather or another ancestor has transferred to you as part of a family wealth planning exercise, and would want to keep within the family
* if you have children (or grandchildren for that matter) from a previous marriage that you want provided for by certain assets
* if you have a business that you want to keep within your family
* if you have assets such as a home, stock or retirement funds you have worked for all your working life
* You may be receiving an inheritance
* You have loved ones who need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents
There are other unique situations that may warrant a prenuptial agreement but in the Philippine setting, these are the particular cases that spell what could be extremely tricky issues between husband and wife. Because of close family ties, a prenuptial agreement can save couples from long, lonely nights in the future, or a messy and costly breakup. Or it can save you from using properties you have saved for your ailing father to pay for your spouse's debts contracted long before you met! "If you can't agree on something that is very important to you before the marriage, then perhaps there is something wrong. A prenuptial agreement is nothing more than a simple contract that clarifies these things," says Montenegro.

Just like any contract, it needs to be signed by both parties. You cannot surprise your partner with a prenuptial agreement when you think things are getting a bit out of hand. It is also important that the date is way before the wedding to ensure that both parties had ample time to agree or disagree. Third, it must be accurate. Any indication that the list of assets is anything but honest might nullify the agreement. So don't even think of hiding that property in Tagaytay.
So, how do you approach this touchy subject? has some nifty suggestions. First, do it as early as possible. If you have been open to each other in the course of the relationship, the word prenup itself does not have to cause someone's hackles to rise. Being very candid definitely has its merits.
After all, marriage is all about love, not money, isn't it?
posted by Rainier & Katrina at 8:56 AM | Permalink |