A Conversation Worth Having – Love doesn’t have to be blind

I didn’t think I’d ever write about something like this, it is a difficult topic in many ways. But why should it be taboo in a wedding column? So, the question is, should you consider a prenup, or is it just for the rich and famous?

A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legal written agreement that is made before a marriage, outlining what should to happen in case of a divorce. Now, I’m not a lawyer, nor am I offering legal advice here, but reading up on it I’ve come up to some understanding.

Let me begin by comparing it in the following way: I’m a big advocate of advance planning around all issues of death and dying. Not everyone is comfortable talking about death, but making your final wishes known is a gift to your family – a gift of less stress, and more clarity.  It’s difficult enough to make complex decisions like these – add grief and mourning, and you can easily be overwhelmed. There are many decisions regarding end of life, and all require results, leaving you less able to grieve and be with loved ones.

You might think of a prenup in a similar way. But while we all will die, we certainly all won’t divorce. However, being prepared for anything and everything is not a bad way to approach life. You may be in love, but you don’t have to be blind.

Five good reasons for a prenup are:

1. You make considerably more than your partner.

2. Your partner has a lot of debt and you don’t.

3. You have kids from a previous marriage.

4. You envision leaving the workforce to care for the children.

5. And one surprising and very good reason is that it promotes honest, upfront communication about two of the most difficult topics – money and marriage.

The idea is certainly not a romantic one – and in our culture, we get very caught up in the romance of engagement, weddings and marriage. A prenup feels like you are planning for failure. Perhaps another way to look at it is that you are planning for a relationship where you agree on finances. You are getting all the cards out on the table.

And should you ever part, the agreement means you can avoid extended court proceedings, saving you time, money, and lessening the hurt.

Establishing procedures and rules for issues that may arise in the future, especially debt, school loans, and mortgages, is important. Unpaid bills can ruin your credit and negatively impact your future. If your partner has a student loan and you separate, do you want to be responsible for that debt?

The biggest problem that arises around the prenup is when one partner wants one and the other does not!

I hope couples can at least talk about a prenup and use it as opportunity to communicate and learn about one another, thoroughly exploring the pros and cons. You may very well decide not to have a prenup, but the conversation may be very worthwhile.

Now, was that so bad?

 

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  • Blog Author

    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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