Premarital Financial Planning
When a couple first meets and falls in love, it is often referred to as the “honeymoon period.” This is the period where it is nearly impossible to see the other person’s faults and where the phrase “...we never fight…” is often used. You tend to look at other couples (especially those that have been together a long…long, time) and think, “why do they make this so hard, loving someone should not be so hard.” Well, spoiler alert… marriage IS HARD! Marriage is VERY hard! If it’s not hard, you aren’t doing it right. But a hard situation is made even more challenging when the tough conversations are not engaged in right from the beginning.
Have Difficult Discussions Early
Just as in a business transaction or partnership, if you and your partner cannot have the difficult conversations now while you get along better than you ever will, then that is a big red flag! If however, you engage in the tough conversations now, learn about each other, learn about each of your financial habits, you will be much better equipped for your marriage. Are you a spender or a saver? Has either of you gone through bankruptcy? Does either of you have significant student loans that may make it difficult to contribute to the family budget? Are there other debts that are lurking out there that will eventually surface?
These are not easy conversations. However, they can be extremely beneficial and will help lay a strong foundation in your marriage. It is understandable if you may not even know what you should be asking or discussing, and that is why we are here.
Mediation Can Help You Get the Right Answers Before Saying “I Do.”
Mediation is a perfect setting to have these conversations. In mediation, you have a neutral facilitator to structure the conversation, keep you both focused and provide the “checklist” of issues that may be discussed. This conversation can be as detailed or as general as you wish for them to be. It can be the start of a deeper financial structure you will enter into after the wedding. It can be a conversation just provide a glimpse into your partner’s financial window. Answer questions like:
- Will we both work?
- Do we want children, if we do, will one of us stay home to raise the children?
- Can we afford to do that and live the lifestyle we want to live?
- What is the lifestyle we want to live?
- Does either of you want to continue your education?
- Will it be necessary to take out student loans?
- Do we want to buy a house?
- Do we want to rent?
- Do we want to travel?
All of these questions, while maybe not pertinent in the immediate future, will become a reality in most, if not all, marriages. Just because it may be ten years from now, it is still an important discussion to have. That way, you can financially plan for that event and not feel the financial pressure of “surprises” down the road.
We have excellent mediators who carry are not only trained attorneys but also have a financial background. Once you are ready to jump into long-term investments, we have professional references that will make that step as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. And, as a bonus, we strive to keep our environment very relaxed and stress-free. Some clients say they even have fun when they come to meet with us!