Marriage is the best thing in many people’s lives. When we’re getting married, we tend to have our head in the clouds. We don’t think about what can go wrong, and we’re deeply surprised if something does. Certain precautions are in order. Here’s how to protect yourself when getting married and in the early days and months of marriage.
1. Do a Background Check
The first step should be a quick background check according to the background screening experts at Unmask. This might reveal a disastrous financial history, a criminal record, a significant other, or even a fake identity.
2. Set Boundaries
No marriage is immune to infidelity. Setting appropriate boundaries is the best thing you can do to prevent an affair. There’s always a risk of that sooner or later, especially in a culture where men and women work closely together. Recognizing vulnerability is important, like after a fight with your spouse. While having a friend who’s a member of the opposite sex shouldn’t be concerning, discussing marriage issues with them is a common pathway to infidelity.
Clear boundaries not only show respect for a union but also provide much-needed protection. You should discuss boundaries and expectations before getting married. Many people think they’ll never succumb to the temptation of an extramarital relationship, but it’s not like people plan these things. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who got married with the intention of cheating on their spouse. The most vulnerable marriages are those where people think it can never happen to them.
3. Keep Assets Separate
Planning for marriage includes a pledge to keep assets separate. If you mix any assets you brought to the marriage with those coming from your spouse and decide to get a divorce down the line, it’ll be easy for your spouse’s counsel to argue the case for divisible marital funds. Separating assets includes but isn’t limited to separating gifts, inheritance, and real estate. Any financial gifts you receive during your marriage, be they from relatives, friends, or anyone else, will be considered separate property unless you combine them with marital funds or with your spouse’s funds. It’s best to create a separate account to hold those gifts in.
Likewise, any inherited financial assets will be considered separate property unless you combine them with your spouse’s funds or marital property. Again, hold these in a separate account and keep separate records of them.
Most importantly, don’t add their name to the deed if you bring real estate property into your union. If you do, it’ll be easy to argue that you wanted them to hold 50% of the property. After all, you did add them to the deed.
As you can see, you don’t need a prenup to protect your finances when getting married.
4. Set and Stick to a Budget
When getting married, you need a solid financial plan in place. Decide on financial goals and how to use joint income together. It would be unfair and dishonest to sway from those guidelines once they have been set. Discuss any unplanned expenses and maintain transparency on spending. Among the issues you need to discuss are whether you need your spouse’s agreement if making a big purchase and how big is too big.
5. Make a List of Their Best Qualities
This list is something you can go back to when you’re struggling with their negative traits. Always remember there’s no such thing as the perfect partner or the perfect marriage. You just need to make sure the good outweighs the bad.
It will help to express appreciation of your spouse’s eccentricities and shortcomings. While it’s true that people change, it’s how we adapt to changes that determine relationship satisfaction.
Featured Photo by Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash