With the holidays behind us, engagement season has come to a close. Many happy couples are enjoying their newly-engaged life and planning for weddings in the near or distant future. And while it might not be the most romantic thing to do, it might be a good time to start working on a prenup.
Prenups have a lot of negative misconceptions, as newly engaged couples don't want to be thinking about divorce. But the reality is that many of these happy marriages end in divorce and outlining your assets and wishes before you get married can make things a lot easier in the future. Further, it can have benefits beyond a potential divorce, as it can help you have a clearer picture of your joint finances as you enter into a partnership with your soon-to-be spouse.
Despite what you might think, a prenup isn't really a "divorce plan." Instead, a prenup outlines who owns what heading into the marriage, and how future assets will be classified. If you have a car, a house, a large sum of money, or any other valuable assets, it would be worthwhile to make those lines clear on your prenup, so that when you get married, you don't have to worry so much about keeping things separate.
In addition, ironing out details regarding finances before you get married will give you a resolution that is fair for all. Since you're about to get married, you probably like each other, and aren't looking to screw each other over. Thus, both of you will be more reasonable in deciding how to split things later.
To add to all of that, you are about to get married, so learning about each other's finances and figuring out your life plan is beneficial for your future as a couple. You should be able to have open and honest conversations about finances in order to make your marriage work, and starting before you get married can help set you on the right path. After all. financial strain is one of the leading causes of divorce, so being open and honest from the beginning is crucial.
Finally, it is true, having a prenup will help make a potential divorce easier. Some people say that's a reason not to do it, but if you think practically, this could save you a lot of stress. Simply having a prenup isn't going to make you want a divorce, but it could help you avoid a long, drawn-out divorce that could have negative consequences for any children you might have or on your emotional well-being. So, while you are happy and in love, get a prenup and make the future easier on yourself.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS