Friday 24 May 2024
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Before the Big D: What Women Need to Know Before They Marry

Before the Big D: What Women Need to Know Before They Marry

No one wants to think about “the big D”: Divorce. But, there are some things that all women should be aware of before they get married in order to protect themselves should the unthinkable become thinkable.

Get a Prenup

There’s nothing more romantic than a prenup – said no one ever. OK, while this might not top the list of “to-do” items before the wedding, it’s definitely something you should think about. Why? Because, contrary to what most people believe, a prenup is one of the best ways to secure a marriage.

It lays down rules for property before they are joined. It doesn’t erase the lines of individuality and self-responsibility, which is so very common in marriages. More than that, it makes explicit what we all secretly know to be true: that life is not perfect, people are not perfect, and things don’t always work out as we planned.

Knowing how to deal with the potentiality of a divorce before it ever occurs, makes it less painful if it does happen. A very loose analogy would be buying catastrophic health insurance – you don’t know that you’ll ever need it. But, if you do, you’ll be glad you have it.

Speak With A Lawyer About Your Rights

If you see divorce on the horizon, it’s a good idea to meet with a lawyer, like, so that you can understand your rights as a spouse. In some states, you will be entitled to spousal support payments, for example.

Even when you aren’t, you should understand how community property is divided up, how much you’ll get in the divorce, and what your options are.

Establish, and Keep, Your Own Bank Account

Another allegedly unromantic thing that you should consider doing is keeping your own bank account. Why? Because it’s good to have money that’s strictly yours. Some spouses view this as threatening.

Those spouses are the ones who are usually spendthrifts or have an eye on your money and want it to become community property so that they can spend freely without worrying about how much they are contributing to the marriage.

For spouses who innocently wonder why there should be a division of finances, the answer is simple: it’s good to have a sense of your own individuality within the marriage. If you blur or erase the line between yourself and “the couple,” what you’ll find is your self-esteem eroding away over time.

Plan And Budget

It’s a good idea to stay on top of a budget, even when you’re married. If you decide to have a joint bank account, you should still be involved with the finances. Most couples designate one person to manage the bills, but this is a huge mistake.

Being ignorant about money puts you in a clearly disadvantaged position – not just in the event of a divorce, but throughout the marriage as well. If you don’t know the financial state of your relationship, you don’t really know whether your spouse is leading you toward bankruptcy or making financial moves that you might not agree with.

Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1997. While in Law School, Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney was a member of the Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, a member of the Latino Law Student’s Association and volunteered with the Public Justice Center, Inc. Ms. Rodriguez-Nanney is an experienced immigration attorney. She also handles domestic matters such as adoptions, custody disputes and divorce proceedings and understands the intricacies of domestic law.