August 06, 2010
As a Japanese woman, one of the most shocking things in the US culture is that some American people make a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Most Japanese people do not understand why they have to think about “divorce matters” before getting married. In my understanding, for a man and a woman, “MARRIAGE” should be the ultimate agreement which lasts forever. Why should a man and a woman get married, if they cannot trust each other? I understand there are many people who lost a substantial portion of their estates when they got divorced, and they believe that a Prenuptial Agreement helps to avoid the worst case scenarios. At least they may protect their property. But to me it sounds like fear and not love.
I never heard about a Prenuptial Agreement while living in Japan. Perhaps, it is not culturally common in Japan. Most Japanese wives to be would most likely feel sad if they were asked to agree to a Prenuptial Agreement because they would feel that there is mistrust and it will never be coped with in their relationship. Since Prenuptial Agreements are not common in Japan, if you are thinking about making a Prenuptial Agreement with your Japanese wife, it would be better to explain that it also protects her life.
My husband and I discussed a Prenuptial Agreement, but we didn’t choose to do it. Instead of a Prenuptial Agreement, we are thinking of going to see a lawyer to create a will which will legally protect both of us and our son forever. Also, I am creating a list of all of my bank accounts’ info, all of my current internet services information, and my Japanese family’s contacts’ information. So my husband will be able to manage them instead of me if something happens to me. This is very important because some of my belongings are still in Japan, and it is good for him to know what I have in JAPAN. For example, if he needs to contact my sister in JAPAN, he can find her phone number and email address from the list easily. Also he can manage all my banks instead of me if something happens to me. My husband also made a list for me to know. I believe that the will and the list help us to create a strong relationship instead of making a Prenuptial Agreement. We trust each other, so that there is no secret between my husband and me.
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