Equal pay for women has a way to go, but progress has undeniably been made. In fact, a recent survey by TD Ameritrade found that about half of women in the workplace say they earn as much or more than their male spouses or partners. That’s a big jump from only 3.8% of women who reported out-earning their husbands in 1960, which is admittedly a long time ago.

Of course, increased household income is generally a good thing. While men report being mostly “neutral” about earning the same or less than their female partner, women breadwinners have stronger emotions regarding the situation. According to the report, they feel more secure and independent, yet also experience feelings of guilt and embarrassment.

Be Smart About Money Decisions In Marriage

Women who earn good salaries can be proud of that. Some women who have established careers and an impressive salary to go with it may be divorced. If they are remarrying, they should be confident enough to discuss money matters with their fiancé.

A high wage-earner may wish to create safety measures regarding the assets she is brining into a marriage by drafting a prenuptial agreement. Once assets are combined in a marriage, it becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to separate them out if divorce occurs.

In a prenuptial agreement, it’s possible to specify assets that will remain individually owned versus jointly owned marital property. All jointly owned property is subject to division in a divorce. This is especially important if a woman has children from a previous marriage and wants to make sure her wishes regarding inheritance do not encounter legal disputes.

What A Prenuptial Agreement Should Address

A prenuptial agreement must be tailored to the needs of the individuals getting married. You can address how assets will be treated in divorce, including retirement accounts, pensions, business assets and separately owned property. You can also address debt, such as student loans, as well as non-monetary matters, such as what happens to a family pet or what right to privacy each party has in divorce. A prenuptial agreement cannot predetermine child custody or child support arrangements.

Once a prenuptial agreement is drafted, it is a good idea for each party to have an attorney review it. A lawyer will review a prenuptial agreement and financial statements to ensure that the proper amount of disclosure was provided. An attorney may advise you against signing away certain rights.

If each party obtains separate and independent legal advice about the terms of a prenup, courts are more likely to determine that each party understood the terms of the agreement, thus it is more likely to be upheld.

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