FOUR TIPS TO
DIVORCE PROOF YOUR RELATIONSHIP!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Traditionally, millions
of couples get engaged on this day. Being an attorney in the field of
family law for more than thirty-five years, I expect that fifty percent
of those Valentine’s Day engagements will end in divorce—which
is sad and unfortunate. There has to be a better way to ensure that all
of the love and affection shown on February 14th lasts a lifetime. In fact, there are several issues I see as a common
thread that lead to divorce. Here are four tips to help you divorce-proof
your relationship from the very outset, so that the shine of that new
engagement ring doesn’t blind you to some of the very basics of
a long and successful marriage.
Discuss Finances: Before getting married, couples often discuss where they are going to
live, children, careers, and what side of the bed to sleep on…
but rarely money. Some people have anxiety, guilt, or even shame about
the way they handle money. Do you really want to tell a potential spouse
that you’re an over spender? Not exactly the topic of discussion
you want to have before you walk down the aisle. Have an open and honest
conversation with your future spouse about your finances and know your
“marriage money style.” Will you share information about income
and assets? “No” is often a red flag.
Be Aware of Abusive Qualities: Abuse comes in more forms than just physical. Things like name calling,
playing the blame game, emotional manipulation, and attacks on your character
and abilities are all signs of emotional abuse. Of course, if your future
spouse actually physically abuses you then that is an immediate sign that
it is time to exit. Violence never solves anything and you don’t
deserve any kind of physical abuse. It usually gets worse.
Get a Prenuptial Agreement: Not just for the rich and famous, a prenup forces you to have in-depth
conversations about uncomfortable but important marital issues with your
future spouse. Money matters, what religion you plan to raise your children
in, family business ownership, and planning for inheritance are just several
crucial topics that are brought to the forefront when discussing a prenuptial
agreement. Speak now or forever hold your peace.
See a Therapist: This person should be an objective, non-partisan third party concerned
for the emotional well-being of you and your future spouse as a couple.
A therapist is someone who will talk you and/or your soon-to-be spouse
through the logistics of making decisions and compromises where there
are no losers, and help you navigate the peaks and valleys of being in
a healthy marriage. Personality disorders are a big warning sign. Do not
Within the scope of a relationship, respectful communication is key —
be honest with yourself and your future spouse. Communication helps ensure
that you don’t marry the wrong person and that you stay married
to the right person. If you have any other questions about marital relationships,
or crafting a prenuptial agreement please feel free to call me at 212.734.1551.