Nobody wants to think about divorce before they get married, which is unfortunate because divorce lawyers have a wealth of advice they’ve developed through their experience.
Advice from Divorce Lawyers
Consider these pearls of wisdom from lawyers who have seen more than their share of couples whose relationships didn’t end with happily ever after.
1. Start talking about finances early.
Sure, your spending habits and investing strategies are not exactly great starters for a romantic conversation early in your relationship; but they can become a cornerstone in the solid foundation of your future marriage. Be sure that you both know where each stands on his/her financial goals and how you plan to get there. Also discuss the positive and negative aspects of your respective financial histories. As you get more serious, start discussing a budget for income and outlays and how you will (or won’t) merge finances.
2. Marriage is always changing and requires work.
Perhaps there is no time we are more idealistic than when we are in love. At the height of our happiness, we want to believe that the current situation is the one that will last forever. However, the reality is that marriage is about weathering all the ups and downs, and understanding your relationship with each other and your relationship with money will change and evolve over time. By not expecting perfection or an easy ride, you are better prepared for the journey.
3. Master the art of delegation.
Recognize that you can’t do everything and be willing to let certain things go. The most successful delegation is one that allows each party to do less but keep the jobs and responsibilities they love.
4. Recognize that you are part of a team.
Offer support and encouragement to your spouse as their #1 fan and steer clear of criticism which undermines that goal.
5. Maintain some financial independence.
Having some separate finances can help prevent clashes over differences in spending styles and allows each spouse some financial autonomy. However, like all financial matters, this issue should be carefully explored before you take action on it.
6. Understand the value of time spent together and also time spent apart.
Try to take at least one vacation a year with just the two of you. By making a commitment to reconnect away from distractions, you are building your relationship as well as remembering all the things that initially attracted the two of you to each other. That said, be sure that you also encourage each other to spend time apart. Giving each other space to cultivate separate interests will make a couple happier and more refreshed and better able to deal with issues in the relationship.
7. Discuss your goals.
While it’s important to understand the current state of your relationship, it is also vital to recognize where each of you wants to go. Talk about both your personal and relationship goals on a regular basis. Not only does it keep you both on track to their attainment, it also provides the opportunity for a deeper understanding of each other.