Very cool article from Atlasobscura – Ancient Egyptian women of means entered into prenuptial agreements. We think of divorce as a modern invention, but these documents both anticipate divorces and separations but also provide for the terms of the dissolution of the marriage. These prenups apparently dealt with property division, and specifically if a divorce happened how to deal with the Wife’s premarital family assets. The woman, who in Egyptian society got much of her status from her Father or Husband and would have entered the marriage with a share of the family property, would have transferred these assets in the form of a dowry, and returning it would allow the woman to have some sort of lifestyle after the separation or return the wealth to her family who would alternately be responsible for her care while she was unwed. The example in the Atlasobscura article even discusses alimony provisions, which is something frequently contained in modern day Tennessee prenuptial agreements.
For a fun ancient divorce law read, check out the article “THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ANCIENT EGYPT HAD 8-FOOT-LONG PRENUPS here”
Morgan Smith is a divorce lawyer based in Nashville, Tennessee. We have experience with both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, if you are considering either, call our office to set up a free phone consult at (615) 620-5848.*
* Middle Tennessee divorce attorney Morgan Smith is not licensed to practice in Ancient Egypt or other lands of ancient antiquity. Please consult your local Classics Professor should you need more information on divorce and marriage practices in ancient antiquity.