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Marry him; not his debt.

Like it or not, a marriage is a contractual relationship. The prenuptial agreement provides the financial terms of that contract. In the process of negotiating the terms of a prenuptial agreement, the parties establish a structure for problem solving that forms a solid and secure basis for a mature and thriving marriage. In that way, you decrease the odds that your marriage ends in divorce simply by engaging in the process of negotiating the terms of your prenup. These agreements stimulate communication and compromise, enhancing the prospects for a happy and successful marriage. Two people can write their own deal at the beginning of the relationship, at a time when they are in love and looking out for each other.

These days, couples aren't just bringing assets to a marriage. They are also saddled with debt. Prenups, which safeguard individual assets like retirement accounts, real estate and investments, can also cover one partner's student loan or credit card debt. Generally speaking, prenups are an important consideration for older couples; those who come into the marriage with assets or debts; people who have children from prior relationships; and people who expect future significant income. You don't have to enter a marriage with significant assets or a high paying job to benefit from a prenup. The prenup protects what you bring to the relationship and what you may acquire in the future. The process of negotiating a prenup promotes honesty and full disclosure which can strengthen the bond between you.

The belief that broaching the subject of a prenup or entering into a prenuptial agreement is unromantic and suggests you are banking on the marriage failing is an unfounded concern. Does drafting a Will or Estate Plan mean you are going to die sooner? Does having homeowner's insurance mean you're at greater risk of a disaster like a fire? Of course not. By the same token, a prenuptial agreement may be thought of as divorce insurance (without the monthly premium).

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