Most people do not expect their marriage to end. If you expected a divorce, you probably would not get married in the first place. When it comes to your future though, it is important to ensure that both partners are financially secure and protected. With about half of marriages ending in divorce, it is important to decide if you need a prenup now rather than later.
How to Decide If You Need a Prenup or Not
When you are deciding on getting married, you should definitely start by talking about finances. You need to decide if you will share expenses, have a joint account and what your financial goals are. Financial arguments are leading cause of divorce, so it is important to have this unsexy conversation sooner rather than later.
While both partners generally start the marriage financially independent, this naturally changes as you start to share rent or mortgage costs. Over time, you start to combine your financial goals. You need to make sure that you and your spouse are not left vulnerable in the event of the divorce. Even if you have been financially independent, you may need your partner’s support during doctoral school or when you have children. A prenup is a way to ensure that both partners are protected.
Some people believe that a prenup is designed to screw over the less wealthy spouse. This is not the case. Right now, you are completely in love. This is the best time for you to make a decision about your future finances. You are both in a loving mind state that encourages you to make fair decisions. If a divorce were to happen, your prenup would most likely be more equitable than a typical divorce settlement.
The important thing is to decide if you need a prenup and what you should include within it. It will generally cover the distribution of your assets as well as your current debts. There is an obvious potential for the prenup to damage you emotionally and financially. You and your partner have to have an open, relaxed conversation about your financial priorities as you discuss the “what-ifs.” Take your time and make sure that both of you have a chance to revise the prenup and make it as fair as possible for both of them. You do not want to give away all of your financial rights, so talk to a lawyer to make sure that you have made a fair, equitable prenup for both spouses.