Prenups, Marriage and Divorce [Issue No. 3]
Morning Stretch with YMP 🌞
Anyone else watch Indian Matchmaking lately? Matchmaker Sima has such a cheeky, honest personality, and our team is fanatic about more diverse perspectives on love.
In our mid-twenties, it feels like everyone is either with their aspiring life partner or feeling left out and rushed through this game of musical chairs. The show helped me appreciate that there’s more to marriage than just love — views about careers, family dynamics, financial expectations, etc. Most American shows fully buy into passionate marriage stories, but Sima auntie is the logical third party who considers everything else.
What’s on Our Mind: The Cost of Love💕
Choosing a life partner is the single most significant money choice we can make in our twenties. Even if you win the lottery or make a killing off day trading, your assets may be legally shared with a spouse. All your choices are tied to another person.
So it makes sense that people pour 💸 into trying to find the right partner:
- Using a Tinder Gold membership costs $150 per year
- The average date costs $102 and of course, New York tops the list
- The average U.S. wedding costs roughly $34,000 and happens on at age 28-30.
- The average divorce cost about $15,000 per person in legal fees and takes 12 months.
- Indian matchmakers like Sima charge thousands of dollars.
*all data from the U.S.
After talking for weeks (and years) about finding love and losing it, we wanted to compile some quick pointers on the money side of love.
(1) You are the only person who has to live with your dating / financial decisions
We often hear strong judgment coming from friends & family about relationships. Everyone wants the best for you, and they think they know what that is! But ultimately you need to pick your advisors. The only person who has to live with your life partner is you! Don’t outsource your thinking — applies to careers too!
Do what feels right, because life is too hard and tiring already to worry about what strangers think. Don’t outsource your decisions.
(2) All is fair game in love and divorce, so set the rules beforehand
Set rules beforehand to protect both parties and clarify expectations. That way, you have a guiding light for difficult conversations. Every relationship is different, but across the board, we’ve observed that people can be different people at the beginning and end of a relationship.
Questions to ask your partner:
- How do we handle conflict? What does a responsible fight look like?
- What are our expectations for money? Since our careers may change, how will we handle decision-making together? Does either of us expect to be a breadwinner or stay-at-home parent?
- How do we feel about our monetary contributions currently?
- Before a legal commitment like marriage, are we on the same page about what debt, child support and income we will be legally sharing?
Yes, these are hard questions! But we believe in leaning into hard asks and addressing all of life’s questions head on. Discuss and plan for conflicts rather than waiting for the next fight to erupt. It gives both parties a guideline for how to behave during more emotional times.
(3) If you’re not sure on big decisions like prenups, check with a family attorney or financial advisor
If you’re on the fence about a big money decision like a marriage, prenup or divorce, ask experts who have seen it all. We’ve noticed that most people rely solely on their close family for these decisions or never decide at all. Not deciding means that your state’s legal system decides for you.
If you don’t get a prenup, you are defaulting to the prenup your state has set for you. — Young Money Plans
Still, remember that your rules will be deeply personal to your relationship. Experts can’t make the decision for you (per our first rule). However, they can offer new alternatives, warn you of common pitfalls and provide legal insight.
Young Money Asks: Prenups and Breadwinners
We asked you, our community, what you thought about prenups and how money works in your relationships. To our surprise, an overwhelming 84% of followers on our Instagram supported prenups. While our audience is mostly in their 20-30s and on the progressive side about relationships & money, we love the openness.
We share our favorite comments below. To see the full list, click through on our IG post!
I don’t see a reason not to get a prenup! —Anonymous
My parents just went through a 14 month divorce that cost my mom $140,000 (and probably cost my dad that much too). Having a prenup would’ve avoided 90% of that! —Anonymous
We have flip flopped back and forth over who is the breadwinner in our house, but my husband is currently the winner. He is working on covering all living expenses while I provide the benefits and build our retirement income through rentals. So we are both winning in different ways! —@InvestingInYourWealth
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