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How Can a Prenup Benefit a Couple, Even If They Don't Divorce?

Couples in Los Angeles who are engaged to be married are usually very much in love. They may feel they have a lot in common with their soon-to-be spouse and anticipate a long and happy union together. However, one topic that is not always discussed prior to walking down the aisle is that of money. For some couples, this can be a costly mistake. Disagreements about how to handle money in a marriage can sometimes lead to divorce. Therefore, it can help for couples to discuss money well before their wedding day so they can be on the same page about how to handle it.

One way that couples can not only start the conversation about money but can develop a plan should they eventually divorce, is through the creation of a prenuptial agreement. In a prenup, not only can couples state how they will divide their assets should their marriage not last, but a couple can also engage in open and honest conversations about their attitudes toward money. A prenup does not have to be an adversarial document. Instead, it can cement a couple's agreed-upon attitude toward marital finances in a legally binding way.

It is important to keep in mind that prenups should not be rushed into. Waiting until days before the wedding to spring the topic of a prenup on one's fiancé can make that person feel rushed and taken aback. They may not make decisions that are in their best interests. Also, a prenup entered into too close to the wedding date may ultimately not be legally enforceable in the event of a divorce.

While creating a prenup may not be the most romantic thing to do, it is very practical. Simply discussing the financial aspects of marriage prior to one's wedding day can set the stage for a stronger marriage, because each spouse knows where the other stands with regards to money. And, should a couple's marriage not last, a prenup may make the entire divorce process -- including property division -- run smoother.

Source: The New York Times, "Getting Married? Forget Sweet Nothings; Let's Talk About Money," Paul Sullivan, April 27, 2018