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Getting Married? 3 Reasons Why Nothing Says Romance Like a Prenup

Getting Married? 3 Reasons Why Nothing Says Romance Like a Prenup

You have the rings, the flowers, the cake, the band. What’s left to plan?

The prenup. Or, in legal terms, the prenuptial or antenuptial agreement. A prenup is an agreement made between two people, before they marry, that establishes, among other things, their respective rights to property and/or support in the event of divorce or death.

“But getting a prenup is like planning to fail at marriage!” I hear you exclaim. Au contraire! While that is a common misconception, negotiating a prenup is actually an intimate act as romantic as the vows you will say on your wedding day. Here’s why:

  1. The best marriages are built on a foundation of honesty and open communication.

Are you ready to talk about what your hopes and expectations are for marriage? What about deal breakers? Everyone has them. What are yours? What are your partner’s? Are you ready to talk about children and how best to care for them? Are you ready to talk about what assets you have, or what assets you expect to acquire in the future? Are you ready to talk about your career goals and how to balance them with your vision of married life? A prenup encourages couples to address all these issues and expectations before marriage. Getting a prenup means choosing to address potentially challenging disagreements with honesty and vulnerability. Then, when a disagreement inevitably arises, this neutral document can help you stay grounded and focused on the life you intended to build instead of the temporary disagreement about how to build it.

The disclosure involved in getting a prenup starts your marriage off in the spirit in which you hope and plan for it to always remain—one of intimacy, honesty, and trust.

  1. A prenup gives you and your partner control of your future.

When you agree on a prenup, you give yourself and your partner control of your future. It creates a roadmap for how you agree to build your life together. When disagreements arise, you can look to the prenup for guidance about how you already decided to resolve these sorts of conflicts at time when you weren’t emotionally drained from the conflict itself. It can refocus your attention from the conflict back to the purpose of the marriage itself. It can help you save your marriage during trying times.

No one plans to get divorced, but if you find yourself in that position, a prenup gives you control over your future rather than handing it off to a judge or jury full of strangers. A prenup ensures that you and your partner will decide your future, whatever that future may hold, together. You can decide how to provide for any children you may already have or any children you may have together. You can together decide how to recognize the contributions you may have already made to your individual lives and how to recognize the contributions you both make to the future you will create together. Most importantly, entering into a prenup means consciously choosing to spare yourselves and your children the painful experience—financially and emotionally—of a fully-litigated, contested divorce. It gives you the freedom, if you need it, to leave your marriage on the terms you agreed to as a couple before you ever said, “I do.”

  1. A prenup means promising to care for each other, no matter what.

At its best, a prenup is a promise that, no matter what, you will care for each other, you will pledge to each other a future that is safe and secure whether you remain together or not. Planning for your future, ensures that, no matter what---for better or for worse—you will remain generous to each other despite feeling angry or hurt, because you recognize that you both will share, create, and invest in your partnership. A prenup allows you to leave your marriage the same way you entered it—together.

Planning the wedding is only the first step to marriage—the prenup is what ensures the couple lives happily ever after.