If You Really Want to Be Married, Do You Need a Prenup?

May 9, 2013  |  

While getting a prenup might be the appropriate business decision in this day and age, it brings the creeping sense of insecurity into the relationship. At a time when you should be devising a plan to stay together, it makes it seem as though you’re ironing out your plan for breaking up.

If you truly believe in the elements of marriage and want to share your emotions, body, and ASSETS with a person, aren’t you diluting the experience by attempting to protect yourself in case of failure? Wouldn’t it be ridiculous to say I’m going to give my spouse all of my time and affection, but I’m going to continue to date on the side just in case things don’t work out? Or I’m going to love my spouse, but not too much just in case he hurts my feelings?

Many compare prenups to insurance; you have it there just in case you need it. However, the likelihood of needing insurance is high. Everyone needs life insurance since we all, one day, will die. We all need to maintain our health through regular checkups so health insurance is a must. And by law we have to carry car insurance based on the liability that could occur if there was an accident. There is no law forcing couples to sign prenuptial agreements, but with the divorce rate at about 50 percent many would argue that your chances of getting a divorce are high too. I beg to differ.

You only be at risk succumbing to the statistics if you are living an at-risk lifestyle. If you are careful and serious about your marriage the chances of you getting a divorce are not the same as a couple that does not take marriage seriously or does not work to stay together.

The greatest part about being married is having someone you can be completely vulnerable and transparent with. You know this person has the power to ruin your life at the drop of a hat because they know most of your secrets (and your social security number). But because of the love and trust you share and have built over the years, you know they never would.

Ok ok, I know that sounds mushy and all. But even beyond the mush, there is research that confirms that couples who are optimistic about their marriage are more likely to be happy in their marriage. And a National Center for Family and Marriage Research study finds that couples that have joint accounts are less likely to get divorced while couples that do not pool their funds are 145 percent more likely to divorce. Proving that financial cohesiveness in a relationship is important and it’s hard to be cohesive about your finances if you have signed a paper that encourages you to keep your finances separate.

If you are not ready to share every aspect of your life with someone, the best alternative is to not get married and just co-habitate. By co-habitating with someone and choosing not to commit to marriage you both are clear on where you stand with your money since you both can walk away with what you brought to the table or earned, that is unless you live in a state where common law marriage exists and your relationship lasts long enough to fall under those rules.

Now I do understand that in some situations where there are other people’s financial well being at stake, like business partners or family members, there may be a need for legalities before marriage. But in others cases it’s just an easy way out. I think many people want to dive into the benefits of marriage without putting in the work it takes to sustain one. Yes, you might get flack from your mom for shacking up with your boo without being married. But if you and your boo are starting your new beginning planning for the end, you just might not be as serious about the relationship as you think anyway.

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