The New Newlyweds
If you decided to wait to get married until after you had established your own career, you’re not alone. More and more Americans are choosing to get married later in life, but that means the newlywed financial planning that worked for your grandparents might not work for your situation. For example, when both partners come to a relationship after having acquired significant financial assets, it’s more likely that a prenuptial agreement would be a smart financial move for everyone involved.
The other major change the past few decades have seen is that more women have started working outside the home, even after marriage. With both partners earning their own money, the traditional method of joining finances no longer makes sense for every couple, in which case you’ll have to work out which method of newlywed financial planning will work best for your particular situation, and a newlywed financial planner can help them do that.
The Case for Prenuptial Agreements
Getting a prenuptial agreement does not mean you don’t think the marriage will last. Instead, you should think of it as a practical way of determining what each partner is bringing into the relationship from a financial standpoint, so we can make sure that everyone leaves the relationship with what they brought – just in case a divorce becomes necessary. Divorce is never easy, but having a prenuptial agreement in place can make the process much easier and less volatile.
The Case for Postnuptial Agreements
If you’ve already tied the knot without a prenuptial agreement, only to realize that you and your new spouse have very different approaches to money, a postnuptial agreement is another option you might want to consider. A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement, with the main difference being that it gets drawn up and signed after the wedding rather than before. It performs the same basic function of defining which assets belong to which partner to help make sure no one tries to leave the relationship with something they didn’t inherit or earn themselves.
Planning for Change
Marriage is a journey that you and your spouse go on together. Things change over the course of a lifetime and it’s likely that your financial situation will change, too. For example, you or your spouse might suddenly inherit a lot of money or take on a risky business venture. Any time you experience a significant change to your financial situation, it’s a good idea to talk to your financial life advisor and discuss your options for protecting your financial assets.