Tis the season for weddings and engagements and even my husband and I are coming up on our one year wedding anniversary this month. With wedding season in full gear one topic that doesn’t get much table-talk are prenuptial agreements.
I was inspired by an episode of Marry Me, a cute sitcom on NBC. If you’re not familiar, it follows a young couple, Annie and Jake, who had been dating for six years and after a vacation together, and might I add many opportunities for a proposal, Annie finally breaks down and wonders why Jake won’t propose after all their years together. Luckily he does (E 1)…but it’s a show that provides a hilarious perspective on the romantic issues real couples experience during their courtship. Such a shame this show was cancelled…
Nonetheless, while catching up on an episode entitled Annicurser-Me (S1 E4), the wheels in my mind began turning. This episode tells the story of how they believe their first-date-iversary is cursed. If you haven’t watched this episode you need to…again, it’s hilarious. However, there was a topic that was brought up that caught my attention. Prenuptial Agreements. In this episode Annie freaks out that Jake had a copy of a prenup hidden in a desk and she assumes it’s for them (no spoilers here- promise!). She was so taken aback at the thought of having one or that Jake would even consider getting one with her.
So, here’s my question…
Yay you’re engaged! That moment you’ve been thinking about forever has finally happened and now you’ve adopted a newly minted title in your relationship: fiancé. I agree, the idea of drafting up a contractual agreement doesn’t necessarily spell out love and planning for a divorce is definitely not something one thinks about right when they get engaged.
Preparing A Marriage
Everyone prepares for the worst in many different ways such as life insurance, establishing a will and testament, or even purchasing family plots before death. Now, those are morbid examples, I know, but nonetheless we want to be prepared for the event that something happens to us and that our family is taken care of and doesn’t have to worry about settling the finances in a time of grief.
The same idea can be applied in marriages. In the event that you would ever have to go through something like a divorce, which I would never wish for anyone, it’s best to have the important matters such as finances, property, or even pets or children be settled beforehand. That way it’s an easy, and hopefully clean, separation for both people involved and friendships can be amicably maintained.
Pros Of A Prenup
The great part about prenups is that they outline EXACTLY what you want based on the notion that it is 100% agreed to by both you and your spouse. For us, we decided that if we were married for 10+ years that our prenup would be voided. This just continues to solidify the foundation of our marriage and that we, in fact, plan to be in this for the long haul and marriage is not a decision we made lightly or without thought and discussion.
Prenups can be amended and changed over time. Just because you have a prenup doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone and things can’t be added or changed. As long as both partners 100% agree to the new terms, your prenup can be altered to reflect changes to your family such as the addition of children.
Prenups aren’t just about the money. You don’t need to have a six-figure+ income to warrant a prenup before marriage. Sometimes it’s not about the money. The terms of your prenup are created collaboratively and agreed to by you and your spouse.
Most importantly, discussing whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your partner actually forces you to talk about the important things in your relationship prior to getting married. You can look on any before wedding checklists and they will all tell you to be honest and open with each other about certain, and sometimes awkward, topics like finances, religion, kids, etc. Discussing the terms of your prenup gives you the platform to have these conversations and decide, as a family-to-be, what works for the both of you. Maybe you both decide it’s not something you want or need, but at least having the conversation is important and the proper first step.
In the end, a prenup was a logical place to start for Philip and I to have the discussions that were important to us as a couple and eventual husband and wife. So, after you get the chance to change that Facebook status, talk with your fiancé about whether or not a prenup is right for you. With that being said, every relationship is different and there are varying opinions about the subject. I would love to hear what you think about prenups. Do you find them good, bad, or unnecessary in a marriage?