A Time for Weddings—and Prenuptials
by A. Scott White, CFP®, ChFC, CLU
President, Scott White Advisors
Weddings are a time of joy and excitement. So it’s not surprising that some engaged couples don’t want to think about worse case scenarios. In 1914 the U.S. divorce rate was 1%, and the rate hit an all-time high of 53% in 1981, and it is estimated that the divorce rate for 2021 will be 45%.1 Although the rate has been decreasing, it’s still important to plan and protect your union while you are planning the wedding day festivities. Most marital discord occurs around money and finances, so if partners address these issues early in their relationship, they can build a better understanding of each other that may help throughout their marriage.
For those making wedding plans, a prenuptial agreement should be considered as part of the wedding planning process. Prenuptials can be wise financial planning regardless of current wealth, especially if the couple has been together for years already. Oftentimes when death or divorce occurs, the state does not take into account the years spent building assets together prior to the marriage.
We believe the earlier a couple begins to discuss the idea of a prenuptial agreement, the better. At its core, a prenup is an agreement between two people, with no wrongs or rights. After all, marriage is not only an emotional and physical union, but also a financial one. Prenups may provide security and protection to both partners in the event of divorce and death, regardless of individual wealth. A prenup gives both parties control over their financial future and the future of their family or heirs. Once the dialogue begins, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can assist.
Weddings are a wonderfully romantic beginning, but only represent one day of what everyone hopes will be a lifetime adventure. Prenuptial agreements can help solidify communication skills and build the foundation for a strong and rich marriage no matter what the future holds.
You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.