In this sweet and encouraging letter from an attorney-turned-fan, one divorce lawyer tries to butter up Taylor Swift with flattery and admiration before he makes his point: Girl, if you’re getting hitched, you need a prenup. She’s young, but not that young, and as a twenty-six year-old woman, Miss Swift can make her own decisions about how to arrange her relationships and domestic affairs. But given trends of divorce in Utah and everywhere else in the nation, and given Miss Swift’s relative wealth, we tend to agree with the divorce lawyer. Girl, get a prenup.
We know you think “it’s so unromantic” and that visions of taking the little hand scanner around your Crate and Barrel or Williams Sonoma with Calvin Harris and picking out your pantry items together and registering for your wedding sounds like so much more fun than sitting down and squabbling over finances before you’ve even tied the knot, but trust us. It’s something you should do.
It may surprise Miss Swift’s Salt Lake City fans more than she herself to learn only 66% of Westerners believe “Relationships were meant to last” to begin with, according to the AVVO online study published this summer. But even if you’re from the Midwest like Taylor Swift, where at least 71% of people believe marriage should be for life, it matters where you get married, and divorce in Utah is different from divorce in Texas or Ohio, since community property statutes vary from state to state.
We’d like to turn the tables on Miss Swift, too, by venturing a bold statement that prenups—while they may not be the ultimate in romance—are in fact inherently romantic. Talking about money with your intended can be difficult, and indeed most couples filing for divorce in Utah and across the nation probably know all too well the intimacies and agonies of fighting about finances. But that’s just our point: talking about your financial situation with your partner may not be flowers and ballroom dance gowns, but it shows them that you’re willing to have the hard talks beforehand. That you’re brave enough to confront the big issues with them and that you won’t shy away from difficult topics or run away at the stroke of midnight them once the dance is over or the flowers are wilted.
Anyone who’s been through a divorce in Utah or anywhere else—or anyone who’s ever been in a long-term committed partnership, for that matter, knows that marriage and relationships are difficult: one the most difficult undertakings that we as social creatures can undertake. But a lucky few know that when you find a good partner who’s willing to venture not only into uncomfortable conversational topics, but the spectrum of life circumstances,—which always, always includes money—you’re honoring that partner, your relationship, and yourself by honestly engaging in an open dialogue about your hopes and expectations around finances in the relationship. And fewer things are more romantic than that.