Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage


Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Should you have a Prenuptial Agreement?


A prenuptial agreement is a legal document signed by both parties previous to them getting married. In that states what assets they came to the marriage with and what will go to which partner should they end up divorced at some point in their future. Since the division of assets is one of the most contentious points in a divorce, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup as it is called is meant to act as a modicum of protection. Some people feel they are necessary in a social climate where 50% of marriages end up in divorce. Others believe that it is setting a wedding off on a negative tone. It may plant the seed that the marriage is doomed to fail, instead of encouraging the couple to work on the marriage and get through difficult situations, so say detractors. If you are planning to get married, should you have a prenuptial agreement? And how do you know if it is right for you? Remember that both parties have to sign the document for a prenup to go into effect ( So discuss the pros and cons with your partner and see if it is right for both of you.

Often when one member of a couple has a significant income or net worth, they want to protect it. If that person has children from a previous marriage, or others involved who stand to gain or lose out due to a contested divorce, a prenup may put those others at ease and help them to accept the marriage. How do you two interact with one another? Is this a marriage of deep love and commitment or one of convenience? Is this a trophy wife or husband or a partner whom you plan to spend the rest of your life with? These issues should be considered carefully. Even when the relationship is solid, many people get a prenup just in case. There is no shame in doing this. But you need to talk with your future partner to see how they feel. Do some soul searching, too. Research prenups online. If you are ready or want to find out more, do some research on attorneys in your area who handle prenuptial agreements and make an appointment. Make sure the attorney you choose is respectable and has a good reputation. Many times attorneys will give you one free session. See if you can come with your spouse-to-be and get all of your questions answered before deciding to move ahead. If you decide a prenuptial agreement is for you, stick with your decision. Don’t back out of it.

Trust Options Can Help Protect Assets During A Divorce

divorce trusts

Although a prenuptial agreement is the best way to protect your assets, there are several trust options that can also help if a prenup isn’t an option for you.  Perhaps you’re concerned about asking for a prenup or you yourself would prefer not to have one for whatever reason, but you still want to protect some of your assets from before the marriage; there are several trust options that can help.

Lawyers recommend to high-income or otherwise wealthy clients to protect their assets with self-settled trusts.  You can place your separate assets in a self-settled trust and this allows you to keep the assets for your sole benefit.  You should try to set up this trust prior to getting married, but in some states you can set this up after marriage as long as you only place what is considered separate property into the trust, and nothing acquired during the marriage.  Alaska, Nevada, Virginia, and Wyoming allow individuals to set up a self-settled trust after marriage.  If you establish the trust at least 31 days prior to your marriage, in the states of Hawaii and Alaska, you don’t have to tell your future spouse that you are setting up a self-settled trust.

Considering that a prenup has to be agreed to and signed by both parties prior to marriage, many individuals may opt for a trust to protect their assets instead.  This way people can protect their assets in case of a future divorce, without actually having to bring up the idea of divorce to their future spouse.


There Are Ways To Ensure That Your Separate Property Doesn’t Become Marital Property

separate property

If you’re concerned about keeping your separate property or financial assets from before your marriage out of the possession of your spouse, then there are certain steps you can take to make sure this happens.  First of all, whatever the property or financial asset may be, keep it in only your name throughout your marriage.  Secondly, do not put any money or other property acquired during your marriage in with your separate property.  Even if this is money you earned on your own, whatever you earn or acquire during your marriage could be considered marital property.  It’s safest to keep your personal property completely separate without mixing any new property or money with it during your marriage.  This will ensure that it remains separate and could potentially protect you from having to part with any of it in lieu of a divorce.

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement would also help protect your separate property from being divided, however, this isn’t always possible as it takes cooperation from both parties to agree upon and then sign these agreements.  If you have already mixed marital property with your separate property, it could be too late to claim it as separate.


An Escalator Clause Can Alter The Specifics Of Your Prenuptial Agreement

prenup escalator clause

Lawyers who are drafting prenuptial agreements often include an escalator clause to promote fairness.  This clause is also referred to as a phase-in provision.  This calls for an increase in support/alimony and the amount of assets that the less-wealthy spouse receives upon divorce.  The change in amount will be based on the length of the marriage as well as any increase in income or assets of the wealthier spouse following the marriage.

It’s good to be aware of this clause if it’s included within your prenuptial agreement and to plan accordingly.  For instance, if your marriage is facing problems, it might be best to hold off any large financial investments until you’re certain of where your marriage stands.

The point of an escalator clause is to ensure fairness of the division of property and all other financial assets following a divorce.  Over the duration of a marriage, a lot can change in terms of income and marital property or assets, so it wouldn’t be fair from a legal standpoint for one spouse to leave the marriage on a much higher footing than the other, unless it was agreed upon prior to the marriage.

When two people get married, they’re essentially agreeing by contract to financial and social regulations.  Without the prenuptial contract, there’s an automatic contract that’s put into place upon marriage, and the regulations are far greater and beyond your control than if you were to create an agreement for yourself.