If the thought of merging finances with your fiancé is making you nervous, a prenuptial agreement is a great way to curb your financial stress. The agreement can help you both have the same expectations if something happens and you decide to split during the marriage, and it can help you get everything out in the open before your big day.
About 47 percent of couples don't talk about finances before marriage, and that's a huge mistake. Here are a few things you both should do with a legal professional so you are both on the same page.
Get a Financial Analysis
If both of you are willing to be open, you can see who has what debts, who has blemishes on their credit reports, and what each of you are worth. The lawyer is going to need this information to put the agreement together, and it allows the two of you to see everything before you say I do and try to budget your life on two incomes.
Protect What's Yours
If you have a hefty savings account, a large 401k plan or pension, assets like a home or recreational vehicle, or a family trust or heirloom, protect these types of things in the agreement. Don't leave the things you have worked for, the things that you love, or anything that is yours at the chance of becoming joint property in divorce court.
You may find out that your spouse has a few high credit cards you weren't aware of, or that they have student loans or other debt. You can put in the prenuptial agreement that if the two of you split you aren't going to take the debt that they brought into the marriage. You can also put in the document that you don't want to pay any spousal support.
The average first marriage will last for 8 years in America, and you could accumulate a lot of wealth or other things during that time. The average cost of a divorce can be $15,000-$30,000. Instead, you could pay about $800.00 to have a prenuptial document created, and avoid divorce expenses because it's already documented who gets what. Talk with your fiancé about your financial concerns and make an appointment with a legal professional that does prenuptial agreements. This can protect the both of you, and you can get everything on the table before becoming a married couple.
To learn more, contact a family law attorney like Attorney Steven N. Long, P.C.