Forget money for a real pre-nup plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I read a story last week about a Hollywood couple beginning the divorce process. It seems the two married when they were semi-famous and, since they were planning on spending the rest of their lives together, didn&8217;t think they needed a pre-nuptial agreement.

Somewhere between &8220;death do us part&8221; and &8220;see you later&8221; they both became famous and earned lots of money. Now that they&8217;re breaking up, he&8217;s asking for a larger piece of the pie, especially when it comes to her future earnings.

There&8217;s nothing romantic about a prenuptial agreement but it is practical. If I was Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey you can bet your last penny I would have my future spouse sign some document saying they wouldn&8217;t be walking away with half of my zillions.

But I&8217;m not Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey and there wasn&8217;t any pre-nup involved in my walk down the aisle. This was mainly because I couldn&8217;t imagine Greg wanting a bunch of shoes or purses and I know I am not interested in his old copies of &8220;Sports Illustrated&8221; or whatever else he has piled in the garage.

It&8217;s not the material things I would want in the agreement anyway. It&8217;s the small things I would like to have had Greg sign off on before we walked down the aisle.

For example:

&8220;I, the husband, agree not to get mad at my wife when she backs her car into things, even if those things include my car (2004) and the mailbox (2006).

&8220;I also agree to go shopping at least twice a year (excluding Christmas) with the sole purpose of holding my wife&8217;s purse and assuring her as many times as needed that the dress she is trying on does not make her backside look big.

&8220;I also agree not to look at my wife like she is crazy when she asks if I think the dog is depressed; if I&8217;ve noticed the price of chicken has climbed at the grocery store; or when she inquires if she can borrow the remote control.&8221;

I would have to commit to a few things, too. For example:

&8220;I, the wife, agree to not gripe about shoes in the living room, coats thrown on the back of the dining room chairs and damp towels on the floor.

&8220;I also agree not to become upset when my husband gives me a Valentine&8217;s card he purchased at a gas station while on his way home, even if the card has a Harley-Davidson motorcycle logo on the front.

&8220;I also agree to limit the requests to cut the grass, take out the garbage or wash my car to once every two weeks (grass), once every other day (garbage) and once a month (car).

I don&8217;t know if such a pre-nuptial agreement would help or hurt marriages. I do know it would make for a cleaner house, less arguments and, just maybe, a less depressed dog