Are you engaged this Valentine’s Day?You need a prenuptial agreement, according to these three experts

Janice Torres-Rodriguez

Are you engaged this Valentine’s Day?You need a prenuptial agreement, according to these three experts


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Financial experts say 5 million people are expected to get married in the U.S. this year — and everyone should have a prenup.

The 2.5 million weddings scheduled for 2022 are the most since 1984, according to The Wedding Report, an online database of wedding statistics.

10% of couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of marriages.

Just like anyone would buy insurance for very expensive assets, a prenuptial agreement is like insurance for your marriage. A prenuptial agreement can protect your money and save you a lot of trouble down the road, and experts agree that it’s an important investment in a relationship.

Janice Torres-RodriguezIf your partner doesn’t want to think about a prenup, that’s a red flag, says Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast.Courtesy of Jannese Torres-Rodriguez

Frankly, prenuptial agreements are too important to discuss. “If your partner is reluctant to accept the idea [of a prenup], it’s a red flag,” said Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, host of the Yo Quiero Dinero podcast. “If you can’t talk openly about money in relationships, you probably won’t be able to talk openly about many other important topics. ”

So who needs a prenuptial agreement? These experts say everyone. Let’s talk about marriage agreements, their role in your marriage, and why all three experts agree you need one.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, short for prenuptial agreement, is a written legal contract between two people that covers a variety of financial issues and concerns, such as property, cash accounts, and financial obligations.

Rita-Soleda Fernandez PaulinoRita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, financial coach at Wealth Para Todos, says it’s important to have money conversations throughout the relationship.Courtesy of Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino

Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, a financial coach at Wealth Para Todos, says that if you don’t create your own prenuptial agreement, “every state has laws and regulations about what happens when you get divorced.” Depending on what you and your spouse bring to the marriage things, these laws may or may not be in your favor.

“Everyone has a prenuptial agreement,” says Erin Lowry, author of “Bankrupt Millennials Talk Money.” “Ostensibly being asked to sign a legally binding document, but at least not reading the fine print is bad form.”

When your relationship starts to get serious or gets engaged, consider discussing a prenup, Lowry says. A clean, easy way to start a conversation is to ask your partner what they want to do with any assets or debts you both bring into the marriage.

What does a prenuptial agreement protect?

A prenuptial agreement protects or determines anything financially related, including:

  • Property acquired before or during marriage
  • Education or retirement funds accumulated before or during marriage
  • Continuing Spousal Financial Obligations After Divorce
  • take on spouse’s debt
  • expected inheritance
  • Life Insurance Policy Expenses

In order for a prenup to be legally binding, it must be fair and impartial and not appear one-sided, deceptive or exploitative. And both parties must have their own independent legal representatives.

Erin LowryIf you feel compelled to sign a prenuptial agreement in any way, don’t sign it, warns Erin Lowry, author of Breaking the Millennials Talk Money.Courtesy of Erin Lowry

Lowry cautions that if you feel powerful or coerced in any way, for example, if you suddenly receive a prenuptial agreement before your marriage, if your partner says they won’t marry you without a prenuptial agreement , or if someone in their family needs a prenuptial agreement.

Torres-Rodriguez said prenuptial agreements are there to protect both spouses. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re in a healthy place and trusting each other rather than when emotions are running high during divorce proceedings. A prenup can — and should — come from love and compassion for each other.

What a prenuptial agreement doesn’t protect

Just like a prenuptial agreement protects financial matters, it does no Covers anything not financially related, such as asking your partner to show up in a certain way, extramarital relationships (including infidelity), unreasonable living conditions, or anything that is clearly illegal.

It’s also very important to note that a prenuptial agreement doesn’t cover anything related to child custody, visitation, or support, as courts and legislators don’t allow couples to trade children’s rights in marriage. These rights must await a decision during divorce proceedings and depend on each spouse’s emotional and financial situation at the time of the divorce.

What is after marriage?

After marriage is a financial agreement that married couples can create. This is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, but happens after the marriage is established.

Couples often start after a major lifestyle change, such as a spouse starting his own business, a child entering the picture, or a spouse deciding to leave the workforce.

Also note that you can have a prenuptial agreement at the same time and after marriage. You might create a postnuptial agreement that modifies a prenuptial agreement, such as when you previously waived alimony but later had children, discovered an estate, or acquired property independently during the marriage.

Forget the stigma and get a prenup

Unfortunately, prenuptial agreements are seen as divorce contracts, says Lowry, who encourages redefining them as marriage insurance. Regular money conversations with your partner can reduce prenup stigma.

Just as people don’t expect to lose their home, car, or life when they get homeowner, car, or life insurance, no one expects a divorce when they decide to get married. Prenuptial agreements can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000, depending on how complex they are.

Expert Tips

Consider pre-nuptial or post-nuptial coverage as marriage insurance – the terms are up to you. Without one, your state’s default laws will apply, which can be detrimental, especially in community property states.

“Everyone needs to at least consider a prenup because people are getting married at an older age than previous generations,” Torres-Rodriguez said. “So we tend to buy more assets that need to be protected in case we end up getting divorced.”

Torres-Rodriguez got a prenup to protect her own established business assets. It’s important to her, she said, not just as a woman, but as a woman whose ultimate goal is financial independence.

Plus, everyone who gets married already has a prenuptial agreement, whether they know it or not: the default divorce laws of the state in which they live. You need to know what these terms and conditions are and whether you are comfortable with them, especially if you live in a community property state where assets and liabilities are usually divided 50/50. If you are not, then you definitely need a prenuptial agreement outlining what to do with the assets and debts you brought into the marriage and acquired during the marriage.

The beauty of a prenuptial agreement is how it simplifies the divorce process, should it ever happen. Divorce can be expensive, messy, and drag on for a long time. But when you have a prenup, you already have a plan for how to divide everything up, which can significantly reduce the stress and emotions of a divorce at a time when you may be distressed or angry.

When your prenup comes from a place of mutual understanding, it can actually be cheaper and more effective in the long run. Plus, it shows your spouse that if, for whatever reason, your marriage doesn’t work out, you respect their decision.

Like most insurance, it’s good to have just in case something happens.

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