When you and your partner are thinking about marriage, it’s likely that you’ll have several deep conversations about your goals and hopes for your shared future. However, many couples do not take this time to discuss their finances, including any debt or other financial obligations they may bring to the marriage. Unfortunately, avoiding the topics of money and finances can lead to many challenges down the line. Whether you are thinking about getting married in the near future or you and your spouse have been together for years, it’s important that you take some time to discuss your finances so that you can avoid nasty disputes later on.
Financial Arguments Contribute to Divorce Rates
While many people may assume that dramatic events, such as infidelity, are the most common reasons for a marriage to end in divorce, it turns out that financial problems play a significant role in a couple’s decision to end their marriage. According to a 2017 survey, 59 percent of divorcees indicated that financial matters played at least “somewhat” of a role in the demise of their marriages, while 20 percent said that finances played a “big” role. Arguments over credit ratings, spending habits, and other financial matters can easily crop up, and those couples who have taken some time to share their views on these matters with each other before problems arise are more likely to navigate these issues successfully.
Consider Putting a Prenuptial Agreement in Place
Although the idea of getting a “prenup” used to carry negative connotations—many people assumed that any couple who signed a prenuptial agreement was betting on the failure of their union—there has been a recent surge in the number of couples who are putting one in place before walking down the aisle. Of course, a prenuptial agreement provides clear protections for each individual’s assets if they end up separating, but it also provides a rich opportunity for the couple to discuss financial matters before they join their lives together. For couples who are entering into a second or third marriage, it’s especially helpful to put a prenuptial agreement in place, as this process will remind you to update any beneficiary designations so that your hard-earned insurance benefits are not inadvertently given to a former spouse. Think of a prenuptial agreement as a healthy step towards creating a strong foundation for your marriage. You aren’t betting on its failure—you’re protecting your future.
Keep Communication Open and Honest
Conversations about money can be difficult, especially if you are embarrassed about your low credit score or a significant amount of student debt. However, entering into a partnership with somebody else requires you to be open and vulnerable in many ways, including your finances. Carve out some time to disclose your financial assets and debts with each other, and discuss your shared financial goals. Together, you can decide how you want to structure your finances and build trust with one another. The only way to ensure that you are building a strong future together is to remain open, honest, and supportive of one another.
To learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can help to divorce-proof your marriage, reach out to the friendly and experienced legal team at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today. We proudly serve clients in the Portland-Metro and Vancouver areas, so give us a call at (503) 233-8868 to get started.