Preempting Disaster: Why You Should Get a Prenup

In Marriage by Interconnected Lives

#6: To Protect Yourself from Their Financial Woes

There are, of course, many different reasons that have led to the rise of the divorce rate and, with it, the prenuptial agreement in all its legalistic glory.  Divorce has risen since WWII, during which time more women have entered the workforce and have likewise worked to gain more rights and freedoms.

As stated above, economic independence is vital for any kind of ‘true love,’ and that simply wasn’t available to a lot of women back then.  Instead, many were forced to ‘settle’ for whomever came along and promised to ‘provide’ for them, lest they live a life of poverty and isolation as an ‘old maid’—or so the thinking went.

Now, of course, with women on the rise both in academia as well as the workplace, we can (or at least should) see this as the sham it is, which is just one more reason prenuptial agreements are important—

More women now have their own assets to protect, and with the fallout from the Great Recession, many men and women alike are still climbing out from underneath mountains of debt.

One of the nasty things about debt is that it can be communicable.  Marry someone with debt issues, and suddenly their economic woes become your own.

A prenup offers you a way out, allowing you to stay positive with whomever you’re marrying with the understanding that their debts and economic woes are not to diminish your own hard-won economic standing.  That does not mean you don’t care about them enough to help—in fact, you might do even more than before to help them given this sense of security.

It simply means that while helping them out of a financial mess, you won’t be dragged down into a quicksand of debt as well.

Even if you’re not very sentimental or romantic yourself, there is value in that view of life.  It makes for a nice escape from the harsh realities of life.

That does not mean, however, that it should cloud one’s judgement as to those harsh realities, and losing five or six figures in a divorce settlement or due to a significant other’s debts or financial woes chipping away at your own hard-won assets is harsh, make no mistake about it.

A prenup lets you guard yourself against all that and maintain both the marriage and economic future you deserve.