A good move in the beginning can save a lot of grief later on. This is true both in terms of chess and romance.
When a couple gets married, they need to start off on the right track. Consider whether signing a prenuptial agreement is the right move for you and your intended. It’s not right for everyone, but it’s certainly something to think about.
Is a prenuptial agreement a sign of mistrust?
Some couples are concerned that asking their intended to sign a prenuptial agreement could be viewed as a sign of mistrust, as if they are anticipating the end of the marriage before the beginning.
To understand why signing a prenuptial agreement is a gesture of trust and not the opposite, it’s a good idea to take a deeper look at this concept.
In previous generations, people tended to get married much younger, before they had accrued many assets at all. In many cases, they moved straight from their parental home to their marital home. Women in particular didn’t have careers of their own at such a young age and brought little of their own into marriage.
Today, the situation is vastly different. With more couples marrying later, both sides come into marriage with assets that they have accrued over the years.
At the same time, one or both sides may come into the marriage with debts. Therefore, instead of looking at a prenuptial agreement as a sign of mistrust, consider it as the first step in financial openness. From here on, you will hopefully be able to communicate on money issues for the rest of your married life.
What about second marriages?
Divorce rates are at an all-time high, which means that many people end up tying the knot for a second time. With second marriages, the situation becomes increasingly complicated as it may involve his, her, and shared children… and their accompanying expenses.
This makes a prenuptial agreement even more necessary. If you are marrying a divorcee, are you agreeing to support his children as well as your own? Will he support yours?
Happily ever after?
When a couple gets married, the initial hope and expectation is that the marriage will last forever. However, in a world where divorce rates are only rising, it is vitally important to be prepared for all eventualities.
When you sign a prenuptial agreement, you hope that you will never need to implement it. In the final analysis, if you remain happily married, you won’t lose anything by having signed it. And if, unfortunately, you do break up, you will be grateful that you did make this agreement. You won’t be saddled with your ex’s debts from a previous life and you may possibly be spared painful financial feuds.
For more information about financial openness and communication in marriage, click here.
Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You A Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess fan, international investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).