I know, just when you were getting used to me being a member of Single Point and the unique spelling of my last name… I’m changing it! I’ve decided to take my husband’s last name (and move up one spot in the alphabet) so we wanted to make you aware that you will start seeing Mary Ballegeer in lieu of Mary Casady going forward. Please note my new email will be firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, if you forget and send something to email@example.com it will still find its way to me!
We also want to thank everyone who sent well wishes our way! We had an incredible wedding day.
Following up on my previous post about our prenup process, there were a few lessons I learned that I want to share should you be considering one for you and your partner.
· Get started early
· Set aside uninterrupted time to discuss it
· Trust your gut and speak up
Get started early:
It was a special kind of feeling to go from signing the prenup at the lawyer’s office then heading to City Hall to pick up our marriage license. We had a relatively short engagement (mid-December to June) and didn’t realize how involved the prenup process could be. This resulted in the odd juxtaposition of the lawyer’s office to city hall trail. If you are even vaguely considering a prenup, I would encourage you to get started earlier than you think you need to. There are also legal reasons to do, as the argument could be made that the closer you sign it to the wedding day, the more likely it was signed under duress. We have a clause in our prenup where we acknowledge that it was signed in close proximity to our wedding day.
Set aside uninterrupted time to discuss it:
The process of drafting a prenup requires a lot of discussion between you and your partner, and your lawyer… and their lawyer. If you’re not careful it could become an expensive game of telephone. We didn’t realize how involved the process would be so rather than have dedicated time set aside, we would try and discuss right after work. Like, just-stepped-in-the-door- bag-still on-my-shoulder, right after work (and while the other person was on the treadmill to boot!). This resulted in miscommunication between my partner and I, which carried over into miscommunication between our lawyers. In hindsight, it would have made more sense to take some time to decompress, even 10-15 minutes, then make sure to have the conversation when we weren’t distracted.
Trust your gut and speak up:
To be honest, this is my favorite piece of life advice in general but it is especially important to remember during the prenup process or while making other big financial decisions. The prenup is a negotiation and will require some give and take at times. While lawyers specializing in family law have the subject matter expertise around the legal structure of prenups, only you know best what your values are. For example, there were negotiation points that my lawyer suggested that I could offer, but I didn’t feel comfortable. I wish I could say I immediately put my foot down and spoke up but the truth of the matter is that I spent a day or two ignoring that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach because I just wanted the process to move quickly. But then I remembered that trusting your gut is my favorite piece of advice to give so I better take it myself. I forced myself to confront the idea “if does come to divorce, would I be upset by these terms?” The answer was yes, so I spoke to my lawyer. She wanted to make sure I felt comfortable so we went back to the drawing board. It was hard to speak up, but I’m glad I did because we were able to figure out terms both my husband and I felt comfortable signing.
The prenup process was messy and time consuming. Despite all that, going through it was the right choice for us, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous blog post. It helped us open the door to better financial conversations so now we can focus on building positive habits to help us through our marriage (1 month down… countless more to go!).