So I am absolutely thrilled that Marvin is finally here. I would like to put up a topic for discussion in the realm of redefining manhood. I started writing it, but I am a bit wary of betraying the trust of someone I know that went through this by writing about his situation. But I really also would love for the discussion of prenuptial contracts for marriage to be standardized. Here is where this comes from. A childhood friend and somewhat mentor (because he has always been way older than me) got married 4 years ago. A year before his marriage he inherited the family house (Khayakhulu) after his father passed on. 2 years into the marriage he was caught being unfaithful, and a year and a half long divorce procedure followed.
Last year the divorce proceedings ended. Unfortunately having been a very comfortable tenderpreneur and businessman with strong rural area values he had married a woman and made her the housewife. According to him, there had always been a frank conversation between him and his wife about his desire to marry have a second wife, it is according to him the same girl he was planning to make wife number 2 that he apparently was being ‘unfaithful’ with. 1- Though he says the 2nd wife topic was discussed before & after the marriage, there is no legal agreement between them. When the proceedings ended the wife got half of the main business, (not the tenderpreneur projects). She also got the house(Khayakhulu). And this is where the prenuptial conversation really kicked off for me.
As a first born, I am most likely to inherit the household, but even when I have inherited it, that house does not belong to me. I am merely tasked with looking after it as a family elder, but that house is where all my siblings gather for customs, and it has been so for 3 previous generations. 2 – There are things such as properties & family businesses that even though may be under your name as an individual are not necessarily yours, but as displayed above are your families. 3 – What happens when 1 partner has benefited from their association with you, say they may have been opened up to avenues and opportunities and furthermore taken more financial risks than they would have if they did not have the security of your support. I want to call this the intangibles of marriage. The importance of recording verbal agreements and family customs before marriage.
Marvin said …
Good day, Anonymous. This is an interesting dilemma but yet not so difficult if your friend paid attention to details. As black people (especially those who will inherit things like houses) we need to be aware of these things when we get into unions like marriage and partnerships in business. Always think of what would be the worst case scenario of your situation. Even if you put your parents’ house and the things you inherit into a trust or you declare them as well as part of the clause when you get married into community of property. Marriages end, relationships end, people change and you cannot reason with anyone during a divorce. Dear men, always protect your family name and history because you don’t want your parents’ hard work to fall into someone else who doesn’t care about the legacy of your parents.
Ask Marvin anything, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org