Here at PW, we’re always eager to pick the brains of our wedding experts for wise words and useful tips that will aid our brides throughout the planning process. Whether it’s the good, the bad or the ugly, we want you to be ready for every “what-if” so that your “I Do’s” go off without a hitch.
Today’s lesson comes from Philadelphia attorney Randi Rubin who has offered up her sage advice for brides-to-be who also own their own business. Whether your business is a solo venture (run your own PR shop?) or you’ve got a partner (own a fabulous boutique with your best friend since grade school?), adding a groom into the mix can oftentimes be tricky (cue the not-so-romantic discussion about finances and the future). And while we don’t want to rain on anyone’s Big Day parade, it’s important for both you and your business to be prepared for any situation that can arise once you’ve got that ring on your finger.
So, with the help of Rubin and her 14 years of experience in law, we’ve put together a list of things for business-owning brides to keep in mind before tying the knot:
- Timing is key. Planning a wedding is stressful enough without the addition of legal issues, so give yourself plenty of time to explore and understand all matters concerning your business and your pending nuptials before walking down the aisle.
- In addition to discussing all of this with your fiancé, consult with an attorney about a possible prenuptial agreement so you understand all the options: Is a prenup something you and your groom want or need? And if you do choose this route, will it be limited to just your business or will all of yours, and your groom’s, assets be included as well? (Make sure to inquire about the risks you face in the absence of a prenup—especially if you are a higher wage earner than your husband-to-be, in which case you may end up owing spousal support.)
- Prior to your wedding, get a baseline evaluation of what your business is actually worth—because once you understand that, you’ll be in a better position to determine whether or not to include the business in your marital pot.
- Prenups and premarital business discussions, we know—not to mention acknowledging the potential for divorce before you’ve even recited your vows—are not the easiest conversations to have, but in reality, they can strengthen your relationship by promoting open and honest communication. Financial conflicts are one of the most common causes of divorce, so think of these discussions as your first step in avoiding that road.
“Marriage is just as much a financial partnership as it is a romantic one,” Rubin says. “What better time to figure out how to handle divorce or determine how to divide property than when you are most in love and happy, rather than when the relationship is at its worst?” By taking the time to hear your options and understand the risks, you and your business will be fully prepared come wedding day.
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