You are finally engaged after three or more years of dating. This is the best day of your life. Now that it’s out of the way, it’s time to talk about divorce. Yes, divorce. Don’t be shocked. This is the perfect time to talk about divorce. At the same time you’re deciding between fondant and buttercream for your wedding cake, talk about divorce. There’s no better time to do it than now.
No one goes into marriage thinking that they will separate in the future. People marry their partners because they believe they are the right person for them. But statistics do not lie. It says that nearly 50% of marriages end up in divorce less than 10 years from when you got married. That’s a fact. So, yes, talk about divorce right after the engagement. It’s a necessary evil, but one that will help you avoid it at all costs.
Why Should Newly Engaged Couples Talk About Divorce?
Right now, you are in the best state of mind to talk about relationships. In theory, you have more affection for each other now than at any point in your life. You care about the other person, so you would want what’s best for them, and vice-versa. This is the best environment for talking about custody, division of assets, prenuptial agreements, and money. Because no matter how much you try to avoid these things, they will haunt your marriage and break it down when you least expect it. Be ready for it.
Call a Lawyer
The first thing you have to do when you decide to talk about divorce is to hire a family-law attorney. Someone who’s an expert in this kind of thing will applaud your bravery for facing a challenging concept about engagement and marriage—the possibility of its breakdown. So, call someone you can trust. It doesn’t even matter if you put the attorney on retainer. What matters is that they discussed with you all the options you will have if you ever decide to divorce.
Talk About Non-negotiables
What will push you to get a divorce? Talk about your non-negotiables as a couple. For example, are you willing to forgive infidelity? Will you go to couple’s counselling, or will you go straight to a divorce lawyer? What are the things in your marriage that might push you to get divorced in the future? You might have a different opinion from your partner, so make sure to listen closely to what they have to say.
Understand Marital Property Laws
What properties do you have now under your name? Are you willing to share them with your spouse, or are you going to draft a prenuptial agreement? This is probably the most important reason to talk with a lawyer right after engagement. The assets you will acquire after your marriage will be marital property. In most states, the assets will be divided between you when you separate. The liabilities will fall under this category, too.
If you transfer to another state, talk again with a lawyer about that state’s marital laws. Remember that although divorce is far from your mind now, dividing properties is such a hassle when it happens. You might as well get this out of the way now.
Owing Fiduciary Duties
When you get married, you owe your spouse fiduciary duties. These are legal obligations such as honesty and good faith. You should not lie, steal, and cheat on your spouse. In fact, you might not even be allowed to give expensive gifts to your side of the family or agree to a loan that you know will not get paid. Going against your fiduciary duties can be a ground for a divorce. You must understand this concept because your spouse might not be as forgiving about gambling, for example, as you thought.
Discuss Having Children
You should talk about having children before you get engaged. If you haven’t, this is the best time to do it. This is a big step to take when you get married. Do you want to have children? What happens if you cannot have children? Will that be an issue for your spouse? Not having this conversation could have potential relationship-ending reasons later on.
Facing the problems early on can have a huge positive impact on your marriage. When you understand what you are facing, then you have a better chance of learning from it. Think of this meeting with the lawyer as a plan or a guideline on how you should legally conduct yourself in the ambit of your marriage.