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Real Talk: Say 'I Do' to a Prenup

Would you sign a prenup before jumping the broom?
Jennifer Hudson’s wedding to Harvard law grad–turned-wrestler David Otunga had never been in the forefront of my mind. That is, until last month when the alleged bride-to-be revealed to In Touch Weekly that she knew her wedding date. “I’ve always had a [wedding] date!” Jennifer told the mag. “I just haven’t told anybody! So it’s set!”

The newly svelte singer-actress also revealed that her dress had been bought, and the biggest decision up in the air was the size of the wedding. Hudson added that she’s never been in a big hurry to walk down the aisle. “I’ve been through a lot in my life and I’m just trying to take it one step at a time,” J.Hud said. “I’m one of those girls, like, ‘Okay, let me get used to this right here! Give me a second!’”

But just a month later, rumor has it that Hudson and Otunga’s relationship is a wrap. According to Star magazine, the couple is clashing over Jennifer’s career obsession, commitment issues and reluctance to have more children. “They were going to tie the knot in August in Jennifer’s hometown of Chicago,” an insider revealed to Star. Gossip site Media Takeout “reports” the couple, who share a child, reached an impasse when Otunga refused to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Hudson’s rep denies the accusations. “I can confirm that the story is not true,” her publicist told E! News.

Just so we’re clear, I’m rooting for the couple. Hudson’s been through hell and back since her rise to fame, and there’s a child involved. If the pair is having issues, I hope they can work them out, stay together, and trot on down the aisle when they are ready.

That said, I’ll discuss their rumored split, not to add fuel to the flames, but because of the most often cited reason for it: the prenup. A bit of research revealed that prenuptial agreements are no longer just for the Hollywood types. Both CNN and FOX News reported a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in which nearly three-quarters of attorneys surveyed in 2010 said they had seen a marked increase in prenups in recent years. Apparently, the financial crisis has left people anxious to protect what they have, even if it’s not millions. It’s also worth noting that the current divorce rate is 50%, and for subsequent marriages the divorce rate is even higher.

Though prenups, which allow you to override state laws, may seem unromantic, or worse, like you’re planning for a relationship’s demise, experts stress that having one has nothing to do with a lack a love. It’s more about making sure you both have an insurance policy against any storms you may face. Prenups can be especially useful for couples where one partner has significant debt, owns a business, has family assets, or when a spouse plans to leave a career to raise children.

Would you consider asking your future spouse to sign a prenup? Would you be appalled if he asked you?

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk