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Five million people are expected to get married in the United States this year – and every one of them should have a prenup, according to financial experts.

The 2.5 million weddings expected in 2022 are the highest since 1984, according to The marriage reportan online database of marriage statistics.

And 10% of couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of marriage.

Just like anyone would get insurance on very expensive assets, a prenuptial agreement is like insurance for your marriage. A prenup protects your money in a way that can save you a lot of headaches in the future, and experts agree it’s a big investment in a romantic relationship.

Jannese Torres-Rodriguez
If your partner doesn’t want to consider the idea of ​​a prenup, that’s a red flag, says Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast.Courtesy of Jannese Torres-Rodriguez

Prenups are frankly too important not to discuss. “If you have the type of partner who is unwilling to accept the idea [of a prenup]it’s a red flag,” says Jannese Torres-Rodriguezhost of Podcast Yo Quiero Dinero. “If you can’t talk openly about money in your relationships, you probably can’t talk openly about a lot of other important topics.”

So who needs a prenup? These experts tell everyone. Let’s talk about prenups, what they do in your marriage, and why these three experts agree you need them.

What is a marriage contract?

A prenuptial agreement, short for prenuptial agreement, is a written legal contract between two people that covers a variety of financial issues and concerns, such as property, cash accounts, and financial obligations.

Rita-Soledad Fernandez Paulino
It’s important to have conversations about money throughout your relationship, says Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, money coach at Wealth Para Todos.Courtesy of Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino

If you don’t create your own prenup, “every state has laws and regulations about what’s going to happen in a divorce,” says Rita-Soledad Fernandez Paulinofinancial coach at wealth for everything. Depending on what you and your spouse bring to the marriage, these laws can work in your favor – or against you.

“Everyone has a prenup,” says Erin Lowryauthor of “Broke Millennial talks money.” “To be ostensibly asked to sign a legally binding document without at least reading the fine print is bad form.”

Consider discussing prenups when your relationship starts to get serious or when you get engaged, says Lowry. A clean and simple way to start the conversation is to ask your partner how they want to handle the assets or debts you both bring into the marriage.

What a prenup protects

A prenup protects or determines everything related to finances, including:

  • Property acquired before or during the marriage
  • Education or retirement funds accumulated before or during the marriage
  • Spouse’s ongoing financial obligations after divorce
  • Take on your spouse’s debt
  • Expected legacy
  • Payments for life insurance policies

For a marriage contract to be legally enforceable, it must be fair and equitable and cannot appear one-sided, misleading or exploitative. And both parties must have their own separate legal representation.

Erin Lowry
Erin Lowry, author of “Broke Millennial Talks Money,” warns never to sign a prenup if you feel pressured to do so in any way.Courtesy of Erin Lowry

Lowry cautions never to sign a prenup if you feel armed or coerced in any way, such as if you’re suddenly presented with a prenup just before the wedding, if your partner says he will not marry you without one, or if someone in their family requires a prenup.

Prenuptial agreements are meant to protect both spouses, Torres-Rodriguez says. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re in a healthy place and trusting yourself rather than when emotions are running high during the divorce process. A prenup can – and should – come from a place of love and compassion for one another.

What a marriage contract does not protect

Just as a prenup protects financial matters, it does do not cover anything unrelated to finances, like requiring your partner to appear a certain way, relationships outside of marriage (including infidelity), unreasonable living conditions, or anything explicitly illegal.

It is also extremely important to note that a prenup does not cover anything related to child custody, visitation, or alimony, as courts and legislators do not allow couples to negotiate marital rights. a child within the framework of a marriage. These rights will have to wait to be decided during the divorce proceedings and are based on the emotional and financial health of each spouse at the time of the divorce.

What is a post nup?

A postnup is a financial agreement that a married couple can create. It is much the same as a prenup, but comes after the marriage has been established.

Couples often initiate a postnup when there is a big lifestyle change, such as a spouse starting their own business, when children have entered the scene, or when a spouse decides to leave the workforce.

Also note that you can have both a prenup and a post-up. You can create a postnup that modifies a prenup, such as when you previously waived child support, but later had children, discovered an inheritance, or acquired property independently during the marriage.

Forget the stigma and get a prenup

It’s unfortunate that prenups are seen as divorce contracts, says Lowry, who encourages reframing them more as marriage insurance. Having regular money conversations with your partner can reduce the stigma around prenups.

Just as people don’t plan to lose their house, their car, or their life when they get home insurance, car, or life insurance respectively, no one plans for divorce when they decide to get married. Prenups can cost between $1,500 and $10,000, depending on their complexity.

Pro tip

Think of a prenup or post-nup as marriage insurance — with terms you decide. Without one, your state’s default laws will apply, which can be unfavorable, especially in community-owned states.

“Everyone should at least consider a prenup because people are getting married at older ages than previous generations,” says Torres-Rodriguez. “And so we tend to acquire more assets that need protection in case we end up getting divorced.”

Torres-Rodriguez was granted a prenup to protect her business assets which she worked on herself. It was important to her, she says, not just as a woman, but as a woman with financial independence as her ultimate goal.

Moreover, everyone who gets married already has a prenup, whether they know it or not: the default divorce laws of the state in which they reside. You should know these terms and conditions and if you are comfortable with them, especially if you live in a community property state where assets and debts are usually split 50/50. If you’re not, you definitely need a prenup that outlines how to manage your assets and debts that you bring into your marriage and acquire during your marriage.

The beauty of a prenup is how it simplifies the divorce process, should it ever happen. Divorces can be expensive, complicated and take a long time. But when you have a prenup, you already have a plan for breaking it all up, which greatly reduces the stress and emotions of a divorce at a time when you might be bitter or angry.

When your prenup comes from a place of mutual understanding, it can actually be cheaper and more effective in the long run. Plus, it shows your spouse that you’ll honor their decisions if for some reason your marriage isn’t working out.

Like most insurance, it’s good to have just in case something happens.

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