Is NOT getting a Prenuptial Agreement Harming Your Marriage?
Marrying couples often don’t want to get a prenup because it means having a difficult and unromantic conversation at a time that’s supposed to be about love and joy. In other words, the messy financial matters get in the way of romance. Might I humbly suggest the possibility that romance is getting in the way of a serious financial decision?†When you get your marriage certificate from the courthouse, it should be clear that youíre not just entering into a relationship that is about love and romance. There are very real legal ramifications that result from your legal marriage.
Itíd be an understatement to say that many married couples have tension over their finances. If nothing else, going through the process of preparing a prenuptial agreement forces otherwise reluctant couples to talk about their financial future. Too many couples get married without answering even some basic questions about how theyíll handle their finances in the future:
- Will we pay joint expenses 50/50? Or in proportion to our incomes?
- Will one spouse be responsible for earning income and the other for taking care of the home? Or will we depend on both spousesí incomes?
- If we plan to have children, will one spouse take an extended leave from the workforce? Or will we both return to work as soon as possible?
- Are we in agreement on how to save for retirement? Will we use one spouseís retirement account or will both spouses put equal amounts in their own retirements?
- Do we have to agree to expenses over a certain amount, or can either spouse spend as much as they want without the approval of the other?
People spend large amounts of time reading the legal terms of the other big financial decisions we make in our lives. When you buy a car, hopefully, you take some time to read the contract, the terms, the interest rate. When you buy a house, you read the contract and settlement statement closely. When you buy stocks, you research the company. A divorce can ruin a person financially. A marriage gone bad can affect more than 50 percent of your finances. Isnít it worth taking the time to investigate the financial terms under which youíll get married?
A prenuptial agreement will involve some uncomfortable conversations, yes. But it is exactly those conversations that can get you and your spouse on the same page financially, which can actually help protect your marriage. Itís that uncomfortable conversation about finances that some couples avoid, and then continually argue about money throughout their marriage. Instead of a prenuptial agreement harming a marriage, a solid prenuptial agreement can actually help keep the peace in your home.