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Are you thinking about divorce before your marriage?

You may think only a divorce attorney would be such a "downer" as to think of divorce before a wedding, but if more people gave it some thought, it might actually lower the divorce rate. How you may ask? As a divorce attorney in the Chicago area, one sees a great many types of marriages and observes much of what goes wrong in those marriages.

Communication is important, especially communication concerning money. While you are intoxicated with the sense of being in love, that may not seem all that important. But that feeling will eventually fade. 

If you marry, it is likely that children, a mortgage, car loans and the myriad expenses of daily life will arrive. If you and your spouse have differing opinions on spending and saving priorities and this becomes a constant source of irritation or outright financial distress, one additional expense you will have to pay for will be a divorce attorney.

Why you would want to bring up the topic of a prenuptial agreement long before you marry is that it can serve as a tool to engage you and your future spouse in a discussion, in detail, on your views of money, spending and saving.

If you have similar views and priorities then money may not be a problem for your marriage. However, if you both have divergent styles; you save and record your expenses to a penny, while your partner spends when the mood strikes and occasionally glances at bank account statements and credit card bills, you may need a very long discussion.

You may be able to work it all out, each making some compromises, to create a workable financial partnership and a successful marriage. However, if you cannot work out a solution, wouldn't that be worth knowing before you walk down the aisle and it is too late?

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Plan your divorce before your wedding day," Jim Gallagher, February 23, 2014

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