Like many little girls, I loved planning my perfect wedding.
I always thought about what kind of dress I would want, what my ideal ring would look like and who my handsome groom might be. I would think about what kind of cake I would want and who would be chosen as my bridesmaids.
However, as I got older, I also started thinking about the more serious, important details. Like, should my husband and I get a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract created by two individuals before they marry. It is "a written contract between two people who are about to marry; setting out the terms of possessions of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of the property of each and potential division if the marriage is later dissolved."
Often associated with wealthy families trying to fend off any future gold-digging husbands or wives, the word "prenup" has a terrible reputation.
Some people fear the word because they think getting a prenup will jinx their marriage or insinuate complicated feelings of distrust in their loved ones.
In reality, yes, a prenup is used in case that worst-case scenario comes true (divorce). It is a way to save couples if they own a private business, or if one partner has extra family money looming in the background.
I, personally, do not own a business or have a trust fund waiting for me. I do not have any idea who my husband will be or what kind of job I am going to have.
However, I do know that when I get married, I will suggest to my husband that we get a prenuptial agreement.
Couples who want a prenup are not destined for divorce. It also does not always mean they are making these agreements for materialistic reasons.
Me wanting a prenup does not mean I am greedy and I do not want to share my personal assets with my husband. It means I am wise, thinking about how I might want to protect myself, my future husband and our marriage.
Here are four reasons I want a prenup, that have nothing to do with money:
1. A Prenup Improves Your Communication Skills
By discussing a prenuptial agreement, both partners have the opportunity to talk about any financial questions, concerns or decisions. They have the ability to make any decisions they want, such as whether they should have a joint bank account, who will pay the household bills and how to set aside money for saving.
These are all vital subjects that partners need to talk about before getting married.
Today, so many marital problems revolve around the subject of money. Either one partner is spending too much, or the other has a terrible history of debt. These are issues that can really make or break a marriage.
By talking about prenups and other financial topics, a couple is opening doors and practicing great communication skills. Couples should feel comfortable enough to talk about these things before jumping on the marriage bandwagon.
Even if you don’t decide to get a prenup, you talked about it and felt secure enough to discuss the pros and cons of important financial decisions.
2. A Prenup Provides Financial Freedom And Equality
As a woman, I know the frustrating realities about equal pay and wage gaps.
Without getting into a whole debate about women’s rights in the work force, I am going to point out that women make up nearly half of the US labor force; yet, we only make about 77 percent of our male counterparts’ earnings.
So even if I work hard full-time, my husband will still be bringing home more of the bacon. While I am all about supporting my husband and career, it still hurts to know that if he and I were working the same job, he would get paid more just because he is a man.
By getting a prenuptial agreement, I am giving myself the ability to make my own financial decisions about the money I make. Even though the fight for equal pay is still going on, I refuse to fight about how I want to spend my own money with my husband.
Men will never understand the satisfaction of a new pair of Louboutins and that’s okay. I don’t need him to understand my shoe addiction. I just need him to accept my love for expensive shoes the same way I will accept his love of betting on basketball games and forming fantasy football teams.
3. A Prenup Allows Teamwork
There is something to be said about a woman who reads the Wall Street Journal and watches Bloomberg news.
Understanding what is going on in the world on a daily basis is very important. The world is changing, and it is important my husband and I both know what's going on.
In marriage, you and your partner are a team. One person in the marriage should not be responsible for the financial future of an entire family.
With a prenup, my husband and I will both be aware of our finances, and will work together to help each other improve along the way.
4. A Prenup Gives One Reassurance
Reassurance is necessary. I don’t care how independent, important or powerful you are. I know you like reassurance every once in a while, and that’s okay.
While there are so many ways to show your partner you love him or her for who he or she is, prenups still help.
We live in a world in which we love to show off what we have. We like to go to clubs we can’t afford, eat fancy brunches every weekend and try to make our jobs sound more important and interesting than they really are.
By getting a prenuptial agreement, my partner and I are both reassured that we love each other for the right reasons. We are taking the subject of money completely off the table, and living together because we love being together.