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"Cold feet" is a common phenomenon for those getting married in Washington and across the country. In fact, one recent study notes that 47 percent of men and 38 percent of women surveyed had jitters before taking their wedding vows. The study also indicates that those who hesitate before they get married are more likely to get a divorce in the first four years of marriage than others. What the study does not indicate is what factors led to the hesitancy such as financial concerns, children, etc. For many concerns, couples may find that a prenuptial agreement can allay fears and promote a positive protective measure in the event of divorce down the road.

The recent study surveyed 232 married couples. Researchers interviewed the spouses several months after their marriage and every six months after that for four years. During that short time, 19 percent of women and 14 percent of men who had reported being nervous had ended their marriages in divorce. It appeared, from the study results, that it was more likely for a couple to get a divorce in the first years of a marriage if the woman was hesitant at the time vows were taken by the pair.

The findings continued to note that it was the happiness of women that predicted many of the divorce situations, though the reasons for the unhappiness were not discussed. Women who remained married at the four year mark, but who had been hesitant at their wedding, were also significantly less happy in their unions. The study ended after four years so no reports are available as to the longevity of any of the surveyed marriages after that time.

As many readers in Washington know well, there are many reasons that couples decide to end their marriages in divorce. Though the happiness of the spouses appears to be a factor in some cases, it is often money and life changes that lead to a dissolution in our state. One way that couples can alleviate some of the hesitancy and stress is by seeking the protection of a prenuptial agreement. Having a well organized prenuptial agreement can offer couples the ability to define their assets and make important decisions about what will happen in the event of divorce. Though potentially challenging to consider divorce before marriage, the study results indicate that preparedness in advance may not be a negative idea.