#299 - Smart financial decisions for a long-lasting marriage

00:00:00
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00:55:05

April 13th, 2022

55 mins 5 secs

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About this Episode

“Don’t get married! Don’t do it!” Those were the words of advice our guest of today’s podcast used to share with his friends and family. As one of Atlanta’s award winning Divorce attorney’s, Aaron Thomas, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has spent years working with couples during the painful side of marriage, watching them come to an end. Today, Aaron is happily married himself and no longer advocates against getting married, he does however, offer uplifting and positive advice for the consideration of prenups when planning a wedding.

Michelle's discussion with Aaron, helps demistify why prenups get a bad reputation and how they can be a useful tool for couples who want to start their financial relationship in an intentional, transparent, and fair way.

Big Takeaways

Three Things that lead to a successful financial relationship:

1. Transparency
Disclose all your assets and debts when you come in.

2. Communication
Make agreements on certain spending habits. For instance, Aaron and his spouse communicate any time they are going to spend over $500.

3. Fairness
Buckets of spending are important. For instance, asking about spending that $500 is only when it is coming from the couple spending bucket. Then each person has their own account as well.
If things do come to an end, can we handle it in a way that treats both of us fairly and kindly?

  • Even if you never get divorced, having a pre-nup can do wonders for your relationship. In setting up the agreement, both people must lay out their entire financial situation, and this creates a vulnerability and understanding of each other that may never otherwise come.
  • The pre-nup doesn’t just have to be about what happens if the marriage ends, you can add in comments about how money is spent and handled DURING the marriage.
  • Creating budgets helps the couple experience things together on equal footing.
  • You can create a pre-nup after getting married, it’s actually called a post-nup! If you can’t add the pre-nup in right now, at least have the conversation. Talk to your partner about your finances!

Links We Referenced

prenups.com

aaronthomaslaw.com

Evite.com/BigWedding

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Quotes

“It’s a good idea to talk about financial issues before the wedding. That’s going to play into even the budget for the wedding planning, I would assume, so. But also more importantly, it has to do with your life together. So, certainly I think couples should start talking about financial issues and making sure they’re on the same page before or during the wedding planning season.” - Aaron

“You can’t be living in the same household and in different socioeconomic classes. Right? It’s a recipe for disaster.” - Aaron

“The couple in the ‘60s getting married was like a start-up. The couple getting married today is like merging two fully formed corporations.” - Aaron

“If we can decide, when we love each other, what’s fair. You know, waiting until divorce is a cruel joke, because you wait until all the trust has been broken down and all of this negative feelings have been built up with the other person. And then, you’re supposed to agree on how to manage all the division of your finances from the past 10, 20, 30 years?” - Aaron

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