Wedding date? Check. Venue? Check. Band? Check. Flowers? Check. Dealing with a global pandemic? Wait, what?
If you thought that the last thing you would be dealing with in the months, weeks and days leading up to your wedding was a global pandemic, unfortunately, you are not alone.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and large gatherings remain restricted, many couples are now dealing with the disappointment of postponing their weddings. If you and your fiancé are one of those couples, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, you may have been wrapped up in the stress and joys of wedding planning, with no time to even entertain the idea of a prenuptial agreement. Maybe you floated the idea by your fiancé just a few months before your planned wedding, but ultimately decided there was not enough time to educate yourself about the benefits of a prenuptial agreement before your wedding day. You can now use this time to re-visit whether you may be in need of a prenuptial agreement prior to getting married.
Now that you and your fiancé have overcome the hard discussions and decisions surrounding the postponement of your special day due to the coronavirus, you are well-prepared to tackle another challenging conversation – one that is never easy but one that is often a necessity – whether or not to enter into a prenuptial agreement.
While a prenuptial agreement may feel unromantic, it is a crucial component of protecting your financial future. Not only will a prenuptial agreement add protection from an expensive divorce if your marriage does not work out, but you and your fiancé may actually strengthen your relationship by having the conversations about money and finances that come along with a prenuptial agreement. If you are forced to discuss your finances now and discuss expectations for marriage, you may find yourselves better equipped to navigate financial difficulties throughout your marriage and have those tough conversations, thereby preventing a possible divorce.
No one enters into a marriage expecting it to end, but the reality is that many couples do end up splitting. Everyone has heard the line that “half of marriages end in divorce.” It will surely cost a lot less to execute a well-drafted prenuptial agreement detailing the terms of a possible divorce now, than to spend years litigating an ugly battle in court down the road. No one hopes or expects that their house will burn down in a fire, yet any prudent home buyer purchases homeowner’s insurance. Along with the paperwork for your homeowner’s insurance, after the prenuptial agreement is signed, place it in the drawer you never plan on opening. And if you do have to open that drawer, you will be happy it is in there.
If the coronavirus and the resulting economic downturn has hurt your business, or your investments have plummeted, it is more important now than ever to protect your finances. On the other hand, if the coronavirus has forced your fiancé to incur substantial debt, it is important to make sure that you do not assume the liability for that debt if your marriage ends in divorce. Start your marriage off on the right foot, with peace of mind and have those hard conversations about finances and money. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that it is nearly impossible to predict the future. The best thing you can do to feel even more comfortable as you enter this exciting next chapter is to prepare for the “what-ifs” even if you are sure it will not come to that.
Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can help you explore your options regarding prenuptial agreements. To schedule a consultation with an NYC matrimonial law attorney, please calls us at (212) 466-6015, or reach out to us through our contact form today. We maintain offices on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in White Plains, and in Hackensack, NJ.