By today’s standards, I was very young when I walked down the aisle and said ‘I do’ to my husband. Yet, as young as I was - early 20s - I was very adamant and confident that I was not going to change my last name simply because I was going to become someone’s wife.
The concept received mixed reviews. My parents, particularly my Dad, loved the fact that my last name wouldn’t be changing. For others, it was a bit of a negative issue.
Fast forward to more than a decade later, it is now the norm and just a few months ago I was completely taken off guard when those that were initially opposed to the idea, voiced their support of women not altering their name. Full disclaimer - I believe it is every woman’s choice on what they wish to do.
The one thing I didn’t do was sign a prenuptial agreement. To be honest, my husband and I didn’t even think about it at the time. But now, as I imagine my own daughter potentially getting married one day, I would ask her to strongly consider having a document drawn up.
Many may consider it the most unromantic thing to do when planning a wedding, yet life is unpredictable and often messy. Some would argue that they have nothing to protect, but - life doesn’t stay still nor does wealth, assets and perhaps an inheritance.
I know I’m simplifying the process and certainly have not scratched the surface of all the things someone needs to consider when having a document drawn-up. That’s what a lawyer helps with.
But here’s something to consider.
The average cost of a Canadian wedding is more than $31,000.
The average cost of a contested divorce starts at $24,000 and could reach $80,000 per person if going to a court hearing.
A simple prenuptial agreement can be as low as $1,400.
Beyond children, the number one thing that leads to a contested divorce is money.
I would argue that a prenuptial agreement is about love. It takes courage to have the discussion with your partner. In the long run, a prenup protects both of you and holds one another accountable. Take it from a happily old, married woman, ‘Get a prenup!’