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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Scenario

Scenario Summary
Marietta and Jeremy have been dating for the past 3 years. They got engaged 1 year ago and are planning their wedding. Marietta was born and raised in the Philippines, came to America about 5 years ago, and obtained citizenship 2 years ago. She has never been married before and has strong family ties and family values. Jeremy, was married for 5 years, has one child that is 6 years old, and his final divorce papers finally arrived after 4 years ago of long and difficult negotiations. He built his company and is financially stable because of all of his hard work and accomplishments. He loves Marietta, and doesn't want to think about divorce, but his past experience has left him uneasy and not only has the financial loss been traumatic, but the fight for equal custody was strenuous, but declared in the final divorce settlement. He would like to put a pre-nuptial agreement together, but Marietta cannot understand the reasoning behind this agreement.
Review the case study and assume the role of either Marietta or Jeremy. Write a 400 word essay explaining the reasoning behind your thoughts and actions.
• Why do you want or not want to enter into this type of an agreement?
• What are your fears?
• What are your rights?
• What are your concerns?
• What would be the advantages or disadvantages of your decision?
Give examples and elaborate on your answers.

Scenario
Marietta and Jeremy have been dating for the past 3 years. They got engaged 1 year ago and are planning their wedding. Marietta was born and raised in the Philippines came to America about 5 years ago, and obtained citizenship 2 years ago. She has never been married before and has strong family ties and family values. Jeremy, was married for 5 years, has one child that is 6 years old, and his final divorce papers finally arrived after 4 years ago of long and difficult negotiations. He built his company and is financially stable because of all of his hard work and accomplishments. He loves Marietta, and doesn't want to think about divorce, but his past experience has left him uneasy and not only has the financial loss been traumatic, but the fight for equal custody was strenuous, but declared in the final divorce settlement. He would like to put a pre-nuptial agreement together, but Marietta cannot understand the reasoning behind this agreement.
Role
Review the case study and assume the role of either Marietta or Jeremy. Write a 400 word essay explaining the reasoning behind your thoughts and actions. • Why do you want or not want to enter into this type of an agreement? • What are your fears? • What are your rights? • What are your concerns? • What would be the advantages or disadvantages of your decision? Give examples and elaborate on your answers.
Marietta
I believe that marriage is forever and should be treated as "we two are one." There shouldn't be a legal piece of paper separating monetary, emotional, or family because morals, values and ethics should be followed in a marriage!

Jeremy
After my previous experience, I fear losing my company and I already went through a substantial loss because of the first divorce. And what happens if we have a child? What about visiting rights? Custody rights? And what if Marietta took our child to the Philippines?

Attorney
We should all understand how a pre-nuptial agreement works and what each other's rights are. There would be consideration of property, what property is, and how this could be agreed upon by each of you signing an agreement.

Deliverable
Given the scenario, your role and the information provided by the key players involved, it is time for you to make a decision.
If you are finished reviewing this scenario, close this window and return to this week's You Decide item, in your course window, to complete the activity for this scenario.
You can return and review this scenario again at any time.

Solution Preview

Evidently Jeremy and Marietta have different concepts of what marriage is. Often when people of different backgrounds decide to marry, it becomes important that they communicate extensively about what their two views of marriage are, and then they must decide whether or not they are willing to consider the other person's ideas in order to form a lasting union that will include elements of both views.
In most cultures, marriage has four major components:
1)it must be legally sanctioned according to the definition of marriage that exists in the country in which they decide to live.
2) There must be economic cooperation between the two involved.
3) There must be normative sexual relations and childbearing
4) There is an expectation that this relationship will be enduring
(Macionis, J, 2000, p 208)
However, the experiences of Jeremy and Marietta with marriage are different. Marietta feels strongly that marriage is forever, but Jeremy went through a very painful divorce. Marietta feels that a legal piece of paper should not decide separating monetary, emotional, or family issues, and Jeremy no doubt felt the same way with his first marriage, because he did not have a prenuptial agreement then, but the pain of his experience has caused him to rethink this position. Marietta feels that morals, values and ethics should be followed in a marriage, but Jeremy has discovered that these cannot be enforced when one or both persons involved decide that they do not want to follow them.
This is the view of Marietta:
She feels that she would not want to enter into this type of agreement because she feels that the strength of their morality, their desire to make and keep promises to one another, and the values with which they have been raised are sufficient to keep the marriage together without written legal obligations.
She fears that instead of drawing strength from their love and those values to cement their union, it would appear that the requirements of the law and this agreement will be put in place to keep them together.
She feels that she has a right to have a relationship that is bound by their morality and their belief ...

Solution Summary

Jeremy and Marietta are at odds over getting a pre-nuptial agreement. Jeremy had been through a painful and expensive divorce and has a son, Marietta is from the Philippines and strongly believes in marriage without this legal document - she believes their relationship could hold them together. Their attorney said that the rights of all concerned should be written out. U-Decide asks you to determine whether or not they should have a pre-nuptial agreement.

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