If I Ever Get Married...

I'll be honest with you all, the older I get, the less inclined I am towards marriage. Personally, from a contractual standpoint it seems like a raw deal for most women, especially if we decided to have kids and stay home with them. And don't even get me started on divorce.

No, I'm not really sold on the whole marriage thing. I enjoy my single life. I have the love and companionship of family and friends, and date happily. As a matter of fact I'm finding myself in the early stages of a relationship. I'm very happy with my job and really making progress with my finances. Why would I want to mess all this up? ;-D

Marriage isn't for everyone, and it doesn't make me a "commitment-phobe" if it's not my bag. If for some reason I find myself serious looking marriage in it's beady little eyes, I will make sure a few things happen:

1. There will be pre-marriage counseling. I've asked around, and one of the things that I've learned is that whatever issues you have now that you're successfully keeping hidden will come out full blast in a marriage. Best to get these things out now.

2. There will be pre-marriage meeting(s) with a financial counselor. I refuse to get into a contract (And let's be real, marriage is a contract) with someone without putting our financial lives in front of each other. I'm talking FICO scores, credit reports, tax filings, savings/checking/retirement accounts, everything. I believe being on the same fiscal page is crucial component for a successful marriage. Clearly we would have worked out our financial philosophies before this point, but I believe pulling out all the paperwork in front of a third party is a good idea.

3. Speaking of third parties, there will be a pre-nuptial agreement. I'm not rich. Like, at ALL. However there are some things, like my financial well being, that I want protected should the marriage end. I don't believe pre-nups are just for rich people, I think they are a good idea for everyone, especially if you are marrying someone with dubious credit history or not-so-great with money. Another tip? We'll have separate lawyers going over our arrangement. Hey, Suze thinks it's a great idea, so I'm going with it. Bankrate.com has some good info too.

4. I'm not changing my name, but my future spouse is free to take on mine if he chooses. I love my name. I've been with this name for 30+ years, it's part of my identity. Plus I don't want to go through the hassle of paperwork to change it.

While I've held the above beliefs for several years now, I was inspired to post them after reading about that woman Tricia from NYC over at Ginger's spot. Tricia married this rich cat but didn't pay attention to the pre-nup she signed. Now he's being shady and she's kinda screwed. It's actually somewhat painful for me to watch but it reminded me of the diligence people, especially women and doubly so if they believe they will have children, must exercise before entering a contract, especially marriage.