Premarital agreements that control the distribution of property at the end of a marriage by death or divorce may be a sensible and equitable choice for a prospective bride or groom wanting to preserve assets from a previous marriage for the children of that union or to protect business interests established several years before the proposed marriage. However, many people believe that such agreements are, in effect, a type of insurance policy that forces both parties to enter the marriage not only on an unequal footing, but also with the somewhat chilling understanding that one party is already planning for the possibility of divorce.
Well, a recent article in TIME Magazine described a company that has gone one better: it offers divorce insurance as “the perfect wedding present.” In return for the payment of a set monthly premium per unit of insurance purchased, WedLock, the company offering the new policies, is currently charging about $16 dollars per month for each $1,250 of coverage. Premiums must be paid for four years before an insured may collect on the policy, but the company pays a premium of $250 per unit for every year the marriage survives beyond four. Ideally, both prospective spouses would purchase policies While such insurance may soften the impact of a financially devastating divorce, it does not appear to encourage spouses to commit to staying together and working to restore the feelings for each other that caused them to marry in the first place.
Just as some one-sided premarital agreements confirm that the financially superior party has already decided that a marriage suffering through personal problems and differences is never worth saving, divorce insurance capitalizes on the likelihood that the marriage will end in the legal system.