If you consider getting serious with your Valentine’s Day date, you need to discuss prenuptial agreements. As per the CDC, the divorce rate is 2.7 per 1,000 population. Since the CDC measures the number of divorces against the total US population, the number seems lower than the actual number of marriages ending in divorce. There are many reasons you need to bring this topic up at dinner before the relationship goes any further. While you may be madly in love right now, you need to protect yourself financially and emotionally. You can see a prenup as an ounce of prevention before needing a pound of cure.
Protects Your Financial Worth
The most obvious reason you need a prenup is to protect your assets. And it is especially true if one of you is entering the relationship owning more things than the other. You do not want to lose what you brought into the marriage in a future divorce. For example, if one partner owns several rental properties, the prenup can specify what happens to the real estate in a divorce.
Your prenup agreement does not have to be just about money before the marriage. For example, you may talk about who gets the family home or business assets if things do not work out between the two of you.
Prevents Future Fights
While a romantic date may seem like an unusual time to bring up a prenup, it can help prevent future fights. It is a great idea to enter a relationship only after mastering personal finance basics. Signing a prenup can help avoid future conflicts about money. You can write many things into the agreement, such as what happens if one person becomes ill or hurt and can no longer bring in any income.
Gives Structure to Future Financial Decision Making
While many people see a prenup as a sign of mistrust, both parties should view it as a chance to decide important matters. For example, if one party is entering the marriage with a lot of debt and the other person has almost none, the prenup can decide who will pay that debt. While many prenups include clauses on financial matters, they can also include what happens to essential items, like a house, in the event of a divorce. It is far easier to talk about these things when you are madly in love than to discuss them later when you may feel bitter towards the other person.
A prenup is a great idea, especially if one or both parties enter the relationship with children from former marriages. It can spell out exactly who is responsible for the parenting. Furthermore, it can tell how the relationship will work with in-laws and the amount of contact the non-parent can expect to have with these individuals.
A prenup can even be helpful when one person passes away because it can spell out who gets material processions in the event of your spouse’s death. Putting these things in writing ahead of time helps eliminate stress in the marriage.
Your prenup agreement does not have to be just about money. For example, you may talk about who gets the pets if things do not work out between the two of you.
Eliminates Expensive Lawsuits
A prenup can eliminate future turmoil. Since you can outline most things in a prenup, there are fewer battles if a divorce occurs. A prenup can save lots of hurt emotions when focusing on your life.
The second bit of good news is that if a divorce occurs, it is often cheaper because you do not have a court battle to decide who ends up with what material processions. A prenup may also keep you out of a lengthy divorce proceeding because the only ones that usually win in those cases are the lawyers. A Nolo survey indicated that people paid an average of $11,300 in attorneys’ fees.
Adds an Element of Romance
A prenup can add an element of romance to a relationship because it forces you to discuss with the person you are interested in before things get too serious. A prenup allows each person to delve deep into what matters most to them. A well-done prenup begins a serious relationship with a layer of transparency that many couples who do not write a prenup fail to experience.
Even in relationships where everything is going great, a prenup can be beneficial by creating shared expectations. For example, it helps couples set expectations for joint accounts to pay bills. It also allows partners to determine if all the money goes into the shared account or if they get to keep some cash to spend the way they want without the other person’s permission. When couples have these discussions before marriage, there are usually fewer divorces because the other person knows the expectations.
Gets Your Needs Met
Since you can include so many different things in a prenup, each person can be sure to have their needs met in the future. Each person needs to be extremely open about what matters most to them for this to happen. If one of the partners is a little more reluctant to talk than the other, then getting professional help to work out the details can be very beneficial.
For example, the contract can also address how the partner takes care of themselves, requiring a yearly physical or staying under a certain weight.
It is a myth that prenups are only for the wealthy and that couples that sign one are looking to get divorced before they ever get started. Instead, writing a prenup adds a layer of security to any relationship. Individuals at all income brackets can lay out their expectations in the marriage. Then, there is no need to fight as either party can point out what is written in the prenup to the other. A prenup is a real blessing when couples struggle to learn to live together during the first year of married life, but it can continue to be a blessing throughout the entire marriage.
Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to create a prenup before the relationship becomes even more serious. If the person you are interested in seems reluctant after explaining these facts to them, you need to look at the relationship to see if it is worth pursuing.
John Dealbreuin came from a third world country to the US with only $1,000 not knowing anyone; guided by an immigrant dream. In 12 years, he achieved his retirement number.
He started Financial Freedom Countdown to help everyone think differently about their financial challenges and live their best lives. John resides in the San Francisco Bay Area enjoying nature trails and weight training.
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