Bottom Line: If you do not put a legal agreement in place setting forth your wishes, state law will dictate your financial fate in a divorce.
Concerned the government does not represent your values?
Before you say "yes to the dress" say "yes" to a pre-nuptial agreement.
Most couples are unaware that by default their marriage and divorce is governed by state law, and those state laws may not reflect your personal values or intentions with respect to your financial obligations, needs and goals.
1. Open a bottle of wine, beer or vodka and write down your financial obligations, needs and goals on a sheet of paper.
2. Switch sheets with your partner. Drink.
3. A few questions to help put things into perspective:
- I expect to put my entire paycheck into our joint account. Yes / No
- I expect to take 6 months, 2 years, life off from work when we have a child.
- I expect to share equally both the financial success and failure of my start-up.
- I want to have 1/3 of my paycheck for my own needs.
- If I won a million dollars tomorrow I would ....
- I think we should have joint bank accounts, separate accounts, a few of each.