Thrive Global: Wedding planning during a pandemic is an opportunity to plan smart

In Prenuptial Agreements

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order allowing couples to marry remotely during the pandemic – and some who are in a hurry to tie the knot may opt for that approach.  A more popular choice among couples, however, will be to put their big celebration on hold, according to wedding planner Jennifer Evans who is helping a number of couples delay their nuptials into next year.

“My number one piece of advice to couples right now is: don’t wait to lock down a new date for your wedding,” Evans says.  “And make sure it’s far enough out so that you don’t have to reschedule it again, post-pandemic.”

Scrambling for a new date is not the only thing engaged couples should keep in mind when it comes to planning a wedding during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.  Couples should also take the time to start or continue working on their prenuptial agreements – something that can easily be accomplished remotely with the help of a qualified divorce attorney.

For those seeking to protect their assets as they enter into a marriage, the first step in drafting a personalized prenuptial agreement is to address a set of questions including but not limited to:

  • What property are we designating separate property as opposed to marital property?
  • What will be the definition of marital expenses? If one of you owns an apartment for example, should the mortgage be paid from your separate property while items such as utilities, groceries, dining out, be paid from marital account?
  • What should we do about current debt such as school loans and future debt?

Wedding planning – including financial planning – during the pandemic can actually be a great opportunity to have thoughtful discussions about the future.  While it can admittedly be uncomfortable to broach the subject of a prenup, it’s one thing that engaged couples should be prioritizing during this trying time.

Prenups may carry a negative connotation but they are simply agreements designed to serve as responsible considerations for two people who care about their finances and their future selves. They are not just for wealthy individuals, but for anyone who has made the decision to get married and thus by law, merge financial assets.

Without a prenup, marital property – property acquired during the marriage – is effectively up for grabs in the case of divorce and will be divided by the law of the state. Couples who devise a prenup take that control on themselves as opposed to a third party, which makes the process infinitely easier if in the end the marriage doesn’t last.

Planning a wedding offers many opportunities to be romantic, from selecting a wedding party and choosing flowers, to writing vows and picking out music. Let the prenup serve as a practical element of planning and take advantage of this extended period of time to put one into place.

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