Getting married is both an exciting and stressful time. Not only are you and your significant other blending your lives, but you are also blending your families and values. While you may think you are aligned on all the big stuff, it is important that you have a discussion with your partner around the three most common stressors in a marriage: finances, religion, and family planning.
It has become more and more common for couples to enter into prenuptial agreements. While you may think that this is just a way to plan for eventual divorce, it is actually a way to protect each other and allow for difficult conversations to occur prior to the wedding. So, while you may be nervous speaking to your significant other about potentially getting a prenup or you are upset that your significant other brought up the idea of entering a prenup, take comfort in the knowledge that not only are these extremely common today, but they are also a mechanism to protect everyone involved. It is also a myth that prenups are only for the ultra-wealthy; basic prenuptial agreements are on the rise as more and more couples understand the importance of a prenup.
Another aspect of finances that you will need to consider and discuss with your significant other is whether you want to open a joint bank account and joint credit card accounts. Some couples like to create these joint accounts and utilize them for all household expenses, while other couples prefer to maintain their own separate accounts and each pay for certain expenses. Since there is no right or wrong way to do it, just be sure you are aligned on a decision and path forward.
If you and your significant other have the same religious background, have you discussed whether you wish to practice that religion together and if you have a child whether you would like the child to be involved in religion? To that end, consider how religious each of you are and your comfort level with practicing religion. If you and your spouse have different religious backgrounds, have you discussed whether you wish to practice separate religions and integrate your beliefs or whether you will pick one religion to practice together? Will you raise a child in one religion or both? Even if you can have some preliminary conversations now, this will alleviate some stress and tension you may experience later in marriage.
You and your significant other likely discussed whether you want children early in your relationship, but did you discuss a timeline, number of children, and if you are a same sex couple who will carry the child/whose egg you will use/whose sperm you will use? Having even preliminary conversations prior to marriage can assist your relationship and open the line of communication as you begin this next stage of your relationship.
The consequences of a divorce can be huge and affect all areas of a person’s life: physical, emotional, social, psychological and financial. It is therefore almost inevitable that the immense burden and strain of a separation will have a demonstrable effect on an employee’s wellbeing and, accordingly, their performance at work.
Divorce can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining, which can lead to poor decision-making. As a former family lawyer, I have seen clients at their lowest of lows as they experience a wide range of emotions, sometimes making emotionally charged decisions either in an attempt to swiftly conclude their divorce or unnecessarily prolong the litigation in hopes of “winning.”