By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Did everything come up roses for you this Valentine’s Day? Well, for some couples that’s not always the case.
In fact, there is even something called the “Valentine’s Day Effect.” That is when unhappy spouses face reality and take action towards separation, and it’s just one reason why 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan says you always need to be prepared–and the earlier you prepare, the better.
With nearly 36 percent of women getting divorced between the ages of 40 and 49, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement before you take your vows.
When it comes to a prenup, first know what you’re protecting. Prenups aren’t just about protecting current assets; they can protect your future too. Retirement accounts are considered marital assets and are typically divided in case of divorce. In a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse can also decide to keep your retirement assets separate.
Also, do your homework. Word of mouth is probably the best way to find a good divorce lawyer. But with price tags between $2,000 and $20,000, it never hurts to get some estimates from places like the American Bar Association, The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers or Divorcenet.
Finally, don’t procrastinate before the happy day. A prenuptial agreement must be signed at least a month in advance of the wedding, and it can take several months to set up.
Since half of all marriages end in divorce, I like to think of prenups as divorce insurance. So, as far as all you romantics out there are concerned, as soon as the word marriage is mentioned, the word prenup should follow right behind.