Chin-chin! Cheers to the upcoming New Year! As the calendar turns and 2024 is on the horizon, it’s a perfect time to not only reflect on personal resolutions but also to consider how they can be seamlessly woven into the fabric of your prenuptial agreement. From personal goals to insurance to family planning, you can incorporate an array of different resolutions into your prenup. Let’s delve into this topic and discover all of the ways you can turn your resolutions into reality.
Reflecting on Personal Goals
The process of integrating New Year’s resolutions into your prenuptial agreement begins with an in-depth look at your own personal goals. Take real time to think about your individual aspirations and dreams. What are your career goals, personal growth objectives, financial ambitions, or passions you wish to pursue? Once you understand what your goals are, start the conversation about them with your partner. This fosters an environment of trust and understanding, laying the foundation for a collaborative approach to your shared future.
Let’s use an example of some personal goals you might consider. Let’s say you are an aspiring entrepreneur, and you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. You already have your business plan all laid out; you just need to execute. But, you won’t be able to do this for a few years–not until after you’re already married. You may worry about what your future looks like and how you’ll accomplish this. One way to ease your worries is to include business interests in your prenup in whatever way meets your goals.
Another example may be simply becoming a Mom one day. Maybe your goal is to be a stay-at-home parent, and it’s been your lifelong dream. But you’re worried about the logistics of this with your partner and the future security. Don’t fret–you can include certain parameters into your prenup that allow for this while simultaneously protecting your financial future.
Remember, this reflective process is not just a precursor to drafting a prenup—it’s an important exploration that allows you and your partner to become co-authors of an individual AND shared narrative, weaving these goals into the foundation of your prenuptial agreement and, by extension, your life together.
If your goal in the New Year is to have better communication with your partner, look no further. A prenup is the perfect tool to get the dialogue flowing. The process of getting a prenup lends itself to open communication. It is not merely a singular conversation about legalities; it’s an in-depth, ongoing conversation about everything–life, finances, family, marriage, death, etc., that strengthens the emotional bond between you and your partner.
So, what’s the crux of this communication in the prenup process? Essentially, your conversations will cover a wide spectrum of topics–your individual goals, shared goals, financial details (debts, assets, income, etc.), anticipated inheritances, preferences concerning certain property, joint savings goals, considerations about a shared bank account, budgeting expectations for the said account, insurance arrangements, pet ownership, and other pertinent topics.
Make sure to handle any potential differences with empathy and compromise. This open dialogue allows you to address any disparities in your resolutions, fostering a sense of unity as you collaboratively craft a prenuptial agreement that accommodates both individual and shared goals. Remember, the goal is not to erase your goals as an individual but instead to create a blend that honors each partner’s dreams while building a foundation for your life as a couple.
Joint Savings Goals
Let’s get a little more specific. A really common New Year’s resolution is to save money. One way to incorporate this with a prenup is to add a clause about a joint bank account and how that bank account should be managed. For example, let’s say you have a goal to save $10,000 in 2024 towards a down payment on a home one day. You can include a clause in your agreement that you and your partner stipulate certain budget limitations for your joint account.
Make sure to articulate realistic joint savings goals to each other. Outline the contributions each partner will make, the timeline for achieving these goals, and the designated purpose of the savings. This not only provides a tangible plan but also establishes a sense of shared responsibility.
Incorporating Life Insurance Coverage
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to get life insurance and other “adulting” things set up in 2024 going into your marriage? Great, you can actually require life insurance in your prenup agreement. That’s right, you can formally request that your partner set up a life insurance plan to cover a certain death benefit amount. For example, you can include a clause that says something like, “Spouse A must have a life insurance policy covering Spouse B in the amount of $100,000 [or any other amount that you agree on].”
Initiate the discussion by evaluating your current life insurance coverage and determining whether adjustments are even necessary as you enter this new chapter together. You’ll want to agree on the type and amount of coverage for each partner, taking into account financial responsibilities, outstanding debts, and future obligations.
Approach the planning for life insurance coverage with empathy, recognizing it as a shared responsibility for the well-being and financial security of both partners. By weaving this section into your prenup, you not only protect each other’s futures but also solidify the foundation of a caring partnership.
If having a child in 2024 is on your to-do list, whether you’re already pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you may wonder how to incorporate this into a prenup. The answer is simple: you can use your prenup to set up certain conditions to be met if children are had in the relationship. You can set certain parameters in your prenup for when you have children, like keeping in spousal support, triggering a sunset clause, and more.
Begin this discussion by engaging in open and honest conversation about your family planning goals, addressing aspects such as desired timelines, financial expectations, the number of children, and the potential responsibilities linked with parenthood.
You can also explore the creation of joint savings plans tied to family planning goals. These plans can include contributions towards education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities for the children.
Long-Term Vision: Prenups as a Blueprint for the Future
Consider your prenup not merely as a legal requirement but as a dynamic blueprint for your shared future with your future spouse. A long-term vision embodied in your prenup can outline life goals, financial goals, family goals, and beyond.
Now, for the fun part: Visualize your future together—what milestones do you aspire to achieve together? Is it buying a home, starting a family, or embarking on a grand adventure? Envisioning these shared goals and incorporating them into your prenup allows for it to serve as a guiding compass, aligning with the trajectory you both envision.
It’s important to also infuse a sense of flexibility into your long-term vision, allowing room for the organic growth of your relationship and a change in goals, for example, allowing certain clauses to be dynamic and changing, such as including a sunset clause, but only if you have children. Or keeping alimony in but waiving it if children are had.
The bottom line: A prenup is a great way to turn New Year resolutions into a reality
As you embark on the journey of a new year and new life together, drafting your prenuptial agreement with New Year’s resolutions in mind is a profound way to show commitment to one another. It transforms the document from a legal necessity into a living testament of your aspirations and a guide for building a future filled with love, understanding, and the realization of your individual and collective dreams. Here’s to a new year, a new chapter of your relationship, a prenup, and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead!
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]