Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Prenuptial Agreement

By Jen Segura  

As with everything that surrounds us today, relationships have changed in the 21st century. Marriages look vastly different today than they did even 25 years ago. The expectations of one’s spouse have been expanded and modified. There are a lot more families where both spouses work and the traditional rules of who is responsible for what (kids, yard work, bills, income) have changed. The days of mom being the primary parent and dad engaging now and then, in between his 80-hour work weeks, are mostly a thing of the far past. 

Dads are more engaged with their children, and moms are fulfilling their interests in careers or other goals that go beyond being a mom. Of course, there are also many more double dads or double mom households, which really switches the traditional roles up quite a bit.   

Prenuptial Agreements Lay The Foundation for Must-Have Conversations

While these changes can be viewed as positive by some, or negative by others, what is most important to be aware of is that they are happening and how a prenuptial agreement can help you. It is no longer wise to assume you know what your soon-to-be spouse may want out of life. You fall in love, get married and never have important conversations, including: 

  • Will one of us stay home with the kids? 
  • Will we both work full time and have demanding careers and our kids will have nannies or go to daycare?  
  • Are we comfortable talking about money? 
  • What are each person’s spending habits? 
  • Does either of us carry debt?
  • How do we feel about debt? 
  • Where do we want to live?
  • Are we willing to relocate if one person’s career requires it?
  • What about credit scores? Are they good, or bad?
  • How do we want to raise our children?

Prenuptial Agreements is the Power of Knowledge

It is astonishing to think about the number of important questions that go unanswered prior to walking down the aisle. When people think about prenuptial agreements, what often comes to mind is one uber-wealthy trust fund partner wanting to protect their wealth in the event of divorce. Of course, this is one reason people will have a premarital agreement in place, however, there is so much more to talk about than finances! With premarital mediation, you can have these conversations and understand your partner on a deeper level and make sure your goals and values are in alignment before committing your entire lives to each other. It seems silly to think two people are comfortable promising to love one another for all of eternity and yet they don’t even know whether the other person is walking around with $50,000 in credit card debt and never want children, while you are debt averse and want 5 kids!  

The power of prenuptial agreements is the power of knowledge. It is ensuring you are walking down the aisle with your eyes wide open and the comfort of looking at the person at the other end of the aisle and truly knowing who they are, what they want, and what expectations there are for you in the relationship and knowing, without a doubt, that the two of you are in alignment on all aspects of your lives. So, when you say, “I do,” you know what you are agreeing to. After all, marriage is a contract. 

Think of premarital mediation as “reading the fine print.” Having a neutral third party that can help you open the door makes it far easier to continue this dialogue while married. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center at (858) 736-2411 today!

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