Being engaged is such a magical time. Everyone is congratulating you and you wake up every morning staring at that shiny metal on your finger. You’re ecstatic, yet stressed about the wedding you are about to have. But just like you have to have the conversation about your guest list (and how your stepdad’s second cousin’s niece cannot come) – you need to discuss sensitive topics with your partner.
Before you get married there are a series of questions that you should discuss amongst yourself. Many people recommend a premarital counseling and in the state of Georgia, you actually get a discount on your marriage certificate if you do it. This is to tackle questions like “how many kids you want to what?” and “what is the game plan is if one of your parents needs help?” Amongst the many pressing things that should be covered, is the complicated issue of money and prenups.
What is a prenup?
A Prenuptial agreement is a contract that you enter into prior to being married that defines ownership of assets (financial and property) should the marriage fail.
Break it down for me…
You hear about it with celebrities and athletes all the time, but basically by law if two people separate their assets are split 50/50 – that includes your home, cash, investments, paintings, everything. A prenup can basically change that “50/50” to anything else.
Is it for you?
Maybe, but it’s not for me. Sahir and I discussed our marriage at length and decided whole-heartedly that we did not want to sign a prenup. Aside from not wanting to plan for what would happen if our marriage didn’t work out (we don’t like to think of that as an option) it also made logical sense – for us.
The way he explained it, we both came into this marriage with about the same amount in savings. We both came in debt free and were earning close to the same amount in salary. Everything that we build – we build together. The debt we accrue – we do together and same with savings. Not to mention, the mental and emotional support for helping one partner achieve success benefits the entire family. Therefore if anything does happen, 50/50 is exactly what it should be. We are a team.
Now, I want to be clear that our situation was extremely rare. As people are getting married later in life or multiple times and it’s much more common to have personal or education debt, be earning significantly more than your spouse, or have dependents like children whose inheritance rights need to be addressed – amongst many other things.
Prenuptial agreements aren’t designed to screw one person over (although they could be) it’s made to protect one or both parties from dealing with the complications that come with divorce.
So is a prenup right for you? Maybe, but it wasn’t for us.