There are only two ways to leave a marriage– Divorce or Death
While no one wants to take the lead on this ‘un-romantic’ conversation it is easier to have when there is love and bliss then when a couple is feeling the stress of a broken marriage.Michelle Jacobik
When thinking about financial goals “pre-marriage” many couples know that there is a 100% risk of dying at some point, so they often will focus their planning efforts on this piece and have discussion around what they would do financially with one less income.
They tend to cover those risks like paying for a mortgage, college for the kids etc with the purchase of Life Insurance.
But many fail to consider having discussions around the the second part that may end their marriage and leave them with one income, Divorce.
Marital agreements are often seen as necessary only for wealthy – or as protection for the ‘wealthier’ spouse. However the agreement really should be negotiated and designed to protect the (emotional) and financial future of both the bride & the groom regardless.
While no one wants to take the lead on this ‘un-romantic’ conversation it certainly is easier to have when there is love and bliss then when a couple is feeling the stress of a broken marriage.
The agreement can provide clarity (and communication) around things that may have been purchased PRIOR to marriage, plans to live during marriage in a home already owned by the other, or simply if one or both have property or assets that they want to keep separate even after the marriage. These can be things like their business or stock options for example.
For those POST-DIVORCE clients of mine, many now state that they will never get married again OR that they will never get married in the absence of an agreement to protect what they now have left or are rebuilding after the first dissolution. I totally get that as I felt the very same way (as did my now husband).
We both took a financial hit that took us about five years each to recoup from and both came into the marriage with a clear view that ‘until death do us part’ doesn’t always end a relationship.
Both of us had gone into our first marriage with FOREVER as our mantra and promise. Both of us lost not only our partnership but a lot financially.
He felt he had less to ‘protect’ the second time around. I disagreed and reminded him he already gave up a portion of his pension to his first wife, didn’t he want to protect his business and the remaining pension from that first career as well and be certain that his children would be taken care of first for his years of hard work? I know I thought mine should be.
In the end, it was still tough discussion but once it was over and the agreement was drafted, it was tucked away just like the wills and life insurance. It didn’t affect our marriage anymore than talking about death did, quite honestly coming together to create a thoughtful and purposeful plan that protected both of us felt more loving than avoiding it.
Make certain to have professionals that handle Estate Planning and Marital Agreements on a daily basis so that things are done correctly.
This is not the type of thing you want to print off line and draft yourself!!
I can help.
You can schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me here.
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