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5 Things Every Couple Should Discuss Before Getting Married
Getting married? Make sure you take time to talk about these five important things first!
A long-lasting and healthy relationship requires consistent effort, commitment, and respect from both husband and wife. While marriage is a time of joy and bliss, many couples are often fazed by the difficulties of maintaining a marriage soon after the honeymoon period is over.
In recent years, the National Marriage Divorce Statistics has shown that marriages in Singapore are becoming more short-lived; there has been an alarming rise in the divorce rate, especially among young couples. This rising trend can be largely attributed to young couples entering a marriage without much consideration of its legal, economic, and social consequences.
Purchasing a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat, having a joint bank account, family planning—these are some typical things Singaporean couples should discuss and plan before committing to a marriage. Couples should not rush into marriage until they are certain that they have found the person they want to be legally bound to, and spend the rest of their lives with.
Are you ready for marriage? Here are five major issues you should discuss with your spouse and consider before getting married.
1. Setting Long-Term Finance Goals
As you transition from singlehood to marriage, you might shift from a high-maintenance lifestyle of spending on exotic holidays, luxurious restaurants, branded clothes, and make-up to new-found responsibilities such as paying off loans for your flat or property. You and your partner should discuss and set your long-term goals together, such as buying a new car, merging your existing finances and properties, as well as setting up months’ worth of emergency funds.
Money is said to be the number one reason for divorce among couples all over the world. Couples may come from varying socioeconomic backgrounds, and could have different expectations regarding how money should be handled. Communicate openly and manage your finances well through wise investments and saving habits to ensure the sustainability and expansion of wealth in your family.
2. Planning for Children
Do you and your partner adore children and can’t wait to have one? Or do you prioritise your career above having kids for the moment? You and your partner should talk about this and understand each other’s priorities and concerns when it comes to having a child. It is a huge investment in your lives and needs to be well-planned. Hear each other out, respect, compromise, and work out a plan. Both your perspectives may change as you go through different phases of family life. You and your partner should make an effort to convey your thoughts and emotions throughout your marriage journey.
3. Balancing Career and Family
The cost of living in Singapore is among the highest in the world. Most families would need both partners to bring home an income to afford a better lifestyle, living accommodation, as well as the occasional holiday overseas. Will both of you be working aggressively? Who will take on a more domestic role in taking care of the household? How will both of your career schedules fit into your family life? What are the personal sacrifices you are willing to make in climbing the career ladder in your corporation? Will you need to postpone some of these career ambitions to build your family? These are some questions that you and your partner should consider.
4. Premarital Counselling
More Singaporean couples are turning to premarital counselling these days, not because they are currently facing an issue, but because more young couples are open to the idea of understanding each other in a logical and deep way. Premarital counselling can make a huge difference in your relationship by teaching you how to be more self-aware and compromising as well as also by helping you iron out differences with your partner more effectively.
Premarital counselling in Singapore is often part of marriage education and support programmes to help couples to prepare for marriage, work through issues, resolve differences, and decide if they are ready for marriage. Couples can visit MSF-approved providers such as secular or religious organisations, or look to private counsellors and family therapists for premarital counselling services. You may also turn to other programmes provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Family (MSF) such as the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme (PREP) targeting soon-to-weds and newlyweds.
5. Understanding Legal Concerns in Marriage
Before getting married, you should prepare yourselves with necessary knowledge on the legal responsibilities involved in marriage, parenthood, and divorce. This involves areas such as understanding financial obligations, property rights, alimony, division of matrimonial assets, and custody of children. You should at least be aware of the legal rights and responsibilities involved in your marriage.
You may consider a pre-nuptial, an agreement that can help define the property and financial rights and obligations of marrying spouses, including what will happen if the marriage relationship ends. No, getting a prenup does not mean that you are going to get divorced; a prenuptial can help to better evaluate your marriage situation. If need be, you can approach a family lawyer for advice in this area. Similarly, you can look for a good divorce lawyer in Singapore with any concerns on legal family matters. You should ensure the divorce lawyer is specialised, experienced, and knowledgeable in family law within the context of Singapore.
Understanding the consequences of marriage will spur you and your partner to stay committed in a long-lasting and successful marriage.
This article was brought to you by Huffe. Huffe inspires and motivates married couples in Singapore towards building a beautiful marriage and lasting family relationships, as well as guides couples contemplating a divorce with practical reconciliation advice and insights into legal procedures.