Marriage is not a financial decision

By Stew

I read a lot these days about signing a pre-nuptial agreement with one’s future spouse or checking the credit report of a possible marriage partner. The character of your future spouse is a perfectly good thing to research, but a money can be a distraction from the purpose and heart of marriage.

I still have the possibly old-fashioned, but still biblical view that marriage is for life. The basic premise behind a pre-nuptial agreement is faulty, regardless of your net worth. I might even go so far as to advise a single personĀ  reconsider the decision to marry a future spouse who even mentions the idea of a pre-nuptial agreement.

As for checking the credit report of a future spouse: if your future spouse tells you that there are no former marriages or huge defaulted loans in his past and you cannot believe him without checking his credit report – why are you making a lifetime commitment to love, honor, trust, etc. in sickness and in health?! You have bigger problems than credit-worthiness.

The issue of so-called same-sex marriage is also too tied up in the finances. Gay couples make the argument for state recognition of their unions, not because it is morally right or wrong or they are in love or they want to spend the rest of their life with a particular person, but because “marital status” will give them certain financial advantages relating to taxes, insurance and the like. I am not necessarily endorsing or opposing gay marriage, that is the role of government, but to argue for civil recognition of a life commitment on the basis of monetary advantage calls into question the legitimacy of that union. It is analogous to a person adopting a child because they want the Earned Income Tax Credit. Financial advantage is not a good reason to enter into one of the most sacred of human contracts.

Marriage is marriage with or without government privilege. If government ended all deductions, should we stop having children? Should we stop giving if government no longer bestows tax advantages on such donations? Does God say, give to the local church – as long as you can claim the deduction? No. Some things in life are right and some things are wrong, no matter the financial consequences.

Get to know your future spouse, find out what you have in common. Talk life philosophy and child rearing styles. Your future spouse’s relationship with God is far more important than the size of his or her college loan balance. Prove the person’s character and measure your love for one another – for these are the things that marriage is all about.

Yes, finances are important in marriage and it is wise for you to talk about spending and saving and budgets, but remember that marriage is not a financial contract. It is a sacred institution and a lifetime commitment.

Article by Stew

Photo by mrflip


7 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Marriage is not a financial decision”

  1. Katrina Says:

    While I agree that most pre-nuptual agreements are faulty, I have to disagree with your thought that all pre-nuptual agreements are bad. I don’t think they should be used to “protect” your assets from your partner (if you have that level of doubt about your partner, you shouldn’t get married) – but they should be used to protect your soon-to-be spouse from any debts you have going into a marriage. Some states allow creditors to go after your spouse upon your death for debts created prior to the marriage. I have quite a bit of student loan debt, as does my boyfriend. While neither of us have the intention of dying prior to paying them off, things do happen. I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 3 years now, and we have spoken of marriage. He is in agreement with me that any debt we have going into marriage should be listed in a prenup, even though we plan on combining finances once we’re married. Should one of us pass, there is no way the other could afford to pay off the total loan amount. We both wish to protect the other from harassing creditors during such a tragic time – if this means signing a prenup, then so be it.

  2. Money Obedience Says:

    Money is important in marriage as it is an essential part of life. Sure, marriage is a lifetime commitment and to some a sacred institution. But it also carries tremendous social consequences and always has. That is why every culture has social rules around marriage and divorce including material rules which is just part of life. For example, the Jewish wedding contract can be viewed as a prenuptial agreement since it spells out the responsibilities of each partner and since it includes materialistic provisions.

  3. Neil Says:

    Hi,

    Absolutely agree with this. Marriage is a lifetime commitment and pre-nuptial agreements are a nonsense. If you go into something suspecting that (or preparing fo it) to fail then it probably will.

  4. Financial Samurai Says:

    Oh to be young and in love again!

    Wait a minute, that’s me!

  5. The Best Money Blog Says:

    Good post! I agree, pre-nupts only exist if you basically plan to divorce at some point. You are just saying, “Well, I am not planning on this as a sure thing so…”

    It should be for life and if you can’t “risk” your money for your spouse then you have priority issues.

  6. Financial bondage Says:

    Marriage should be forever. Problem is these days it’s not. I agree getting a prenuptial is basically saying “I don’t think this will last” or “I will marry you but”…

  7. Ken Starek Says:

    I like this site…good info. discovered it on google. will save it as a favorite.

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