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Discussing finances can reveal need for prenuptial agreements

Preparing for a wedding can be a hectic and stressful time. For many Virginia couples, it is easy to become so focused on preparing for the wedding that they neglect to have a series of important discussions about the marriage itself. One of the topics that is most often set aside involves financial matters, especially in light of the fact that many people are uncomfortable talking about money. Having these talks, however, can reveal a great deal about how each party approaches money, and whether there is a need to look into prenuptial agreements.

Consider, for example, two people who are both well-educated and prepared for a solid career path in their chosen field. One, however, inherited a significant sum from a family members, and has invested that windfall wisely. The other party, while not reckless with money, has accumulated a sizeable debt load, and will bring few assets to the table at the time of marriage. While the combined incomes of both parties may be sufficient to pay down debt and still set aside savings, the party who already has a base of assets is at risk of losing that wealth if the marriage ends in divorce.

The best way to find out if there is a need for a prenuptial agreement is to set aside time to have a series of open and honest discussion about money matters. This can also help a couple determine if they share the same outlook on financial management. Having different financial styles is not always detrimental to a healthy marriage, but couples in this position need to determine early on how their money will be managed, and agree on the basics of spending and saving.

No one wants to consider the end of their marriage before it has even begun, but this is the wrong approach to take when considering prenuptial agreements. A prenup is nothing more than a savvy financial planning tool, one that will hopefully never need to be called into service. Far too many Virginia residents enter into marriage without protecting their existing assets, which can lead to financial devastation if things do not go as planned.

Source: nydailynews.com, "5 easy steps to protect your money in marriage -- and divorce", Pam Friedman, Feb. 4, 2016

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