Planning your wedding is time-consuming and at times very stressful. There seems to be a never-ending list of things to do, from interviewing DJs to trying out different caterers to finding just the right accents to set off your theme, not to mention the big-ticket items like finding a venue, booking an officiant and finding the all-important dress or tux.
One thing that might be missing from your to-do-list? Getting a prenuptial agreement. Whether this is your first wedding or your fourth, here's why you shouldn't skip this very important pre-wedding "must do."
1. A prenup clarifies your financial relationship.
Consider this: Money fights are the second leading cause of divorce (behind infidelity), according to Business Wire. Financial fights usually have nothing to do with the actual amount of money you have but everything to do with trust and communication. In fact, couples who cannot talk honestly or directly about money are more likely to split up.
If you haven't talked about your finances yet, now is definitely the time to do so. A prenuptial agreement naturally invites conversation on how you'd like to share financial responsibility in your married life.
2. A prenup keeps important property separate.
Once you get married in Virginia, your property and income may no longer belong exclusively to you. In general after you get married, any income you bring in, property you purchase together, assets you commingle with joint accounts, or debts you accrue together or pay off using joint funds can be fair game for division if you get divorced.
If you're worried about your fiancé's large debts or want to protect assets from your budding new business, a prenuptial agreement will clarify what should be considered separate property. It can also help you both discuss who will be responsible for paying what should the marriage not last.
3. A prenup protects children from previous marriages.
When you pass away, you will likely want your assets to pass on to your children – all of them. If you've remarried, though, your children from a previous marriage may not receive those funds if control of your estate passes to a new spouse. Ideally, everyone would play fair in that situation, but sometimes, greed gets the better of people. A prenup can set aside part of your estate for your children and protect their inheritance.
These are just a few of the many reasons you should consider adding a prenuptial agreement to your wedding to-do's. Far from casting doubt on your future marriage's success, this could only strengthen your commitment to each other.