Prenuptial agreements (prenups) don’t scream romance, and I know it is probably the LAST thing that you want to think about when you’re planning a wedding, but hear me out. I want you to think about this scenario, you’re married for 15 years, and you start to drift apart, maybe someone has an affair and then all of the sudden you’re looking at divorce. Maybe one of you hasn’t worked for the last ten years, and you have three kids to think about.
Nobody gets married planning to get divorced, but the stark reality of it is that while the divorce rate is at a 40-year low, typical marriages still have about a 50% chance of lasting. Now statistics vary depending on the age when you get married and even more on whether it’s your first marriage or your second or third, but 50/50 chances of getting divorced are still not small. If someone told you that you had a 50% chance of getting in an accident that could potentially cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars would you make sure to get insurance? I sure would.
Prenups are like an Insurance Plan
Let’s look at a prenup like insurance. Just like no body plans on getting divorced, no body plans on getting in an accident and having high medical bills, but yet we still have insurance in case we do. I don’t think that my house will burn down, but you sure bet I’ve got home-owners insurance in case it does happen. A prenup is there IN CASE the marriage doesn’t work and you end up needing to get divorced. I tell my clients that we’re doing this and then you’re going to put it away and plan on never looking at it again. But, if you do need it the prenup details how you want to handle things in the unlikely case that you guys don’t agree and end up in a lengthy court battle. Now I often hear from people “well we wouldn’t be like that if we got divorced” but the truth of the matter is you just don’t know. While you can say that you would never take your spouse to court and would be reasonable you don’t know how you’d feel in that situation, especially if infidelity was involved. Would you still want to be nice and work with them, or would you be focused more on getting back at them?
Prenups Precede Happy Marriages
More-so, by entering into a prenup you actually DECREASE your likelihood of getting divorced in the first place. Before you even get married you’re establishing a framework for problem solving that will form a solid and secure basis for your future marriage. Working on a prenup with your future spouse forces you to communicate about things that you may not have known about the other person. As I discussed in my previous blog, talking about money is tough but once you open the door it’s far easier to continue this dialogue while married
But if I ask for a Prenup will my Future Spouse think I don’t Trust them?
You might be thinking at this point that a prenup sounds like a good idea but worry that your future spouse will think that you’re saying you don’t trust them. The reality is a prenup says that you trust the other person so much that you can share even your most intimate secrets. It’s a well knows fact that people are very private about money and many would sooner talk about their sex lives. A prenup allows you both to be open and candid about your financial situation. We understand that broaching the topic can be difficult, Arlene G. Dubin in her book, Prenups for Lovers provides some great advice on how to broach the topic. We are also happy to discuss this with you and help you come up with the right way to talk with your future spouse.