Originally Posted by robindch
So why are people saying "till death do us part" if approximately 50% of all married couples will subsequently welch on that commitment?
Nitpick: the figure for Ireland is more like 1-in-10. We have an unusually low divorce rate. The 50% statistic comes from the US, where they have an unusually high divorce rate. (And even in the US, I believe, it's considered a dodgily high figure.)
Why do people say "till death do us part"? Because that's what they want. They know it might not work out that way, but they want it to.
This isn't true just for starry-eyed teenagers. Smacl tells us that he and his Reason for Living got marrried after being together for 17 years and having several kids. It was an act of "simple pragmatism", to protect the kids "should one of us predecease the other" (which, spoiler alert, is statistically very likely to happen, when you think about it). Clearly, Smacl and the Object of his Affections expect their marriage to last until one of them dies; for them, that's the very scenario that the marriage is intended to address.
None of which is to say that they, or any other couple, shouldn't consider or enter into prenuptial agreements. There are two good reasons for doing this. First, even though you may want it to last forever, it may not, and there is merit in thinking about what your wishes and expectations might be if it doesn't. But, secondly, it doesn't just have to be about the possiblity of relationship breakdown; a prenuptial agreement can deal with how you expect things to work while you are together - how finances will be arranged, how decisions will be made, expectations of support for one another in relation to careers, etc, etc. And the merit of dealing with all this is not that you end up with a set of legally binding commitments governing these issues - prenuptial agreements are not really legally binding - but more that you discuss them and arrive at some kind of shared understanding or, at least, identify any areas where you may have different ideas, and so think about how to deal with your disagreement.
All of which begins to make getting a prenuptial agreement sound quite like doing a marriage preparation course. And, to be honest, the two processes have a good deal in common.