5 Questions To Ask Before You Marry
Lawyer Kelly Chang Ricket wrote
Kelly Chang Rickert rose to TicTok fame by giving pithy advice so you don’t end up in her office asking her to litigate (or better yet, mediate) your divorce. Happily married herself, she reveals the top 5 questions you should ask before marriage so you don’t end up divorced:
- What is your credit score? (And ask to see recent credit report)
“I know this sounds funny to ask to see a recent report, but money is a big issue – and not so much about how much income is earned but about how it is spent and the amount of debt a person carries,” said Chang Rickert. “Personally, I would rather marry a person with a lower income who lives below their means than a person with a high income who overspends.
Millionares aren’t always born. They are made. The credit report will reflect spending and paying habits, like does he pay just pay a minimum balance instead of the full amount. It will also reflect how many credit cards they have, and whether or not they are credit-worthy, and how much debt they have.
Chang Rickert also reveals another reason why she would never marry a big spender, and the reason may surprise you: “Over spending is often linked to other negative traits, like narcissism and insecurity.”
Remember, unless you have a prenup you are responsible for your spouses debts, even if they happened without your knowledge.
How many children do you want, if at all?
Child-bearing and rearing is a critical issue. Some men and women do not want to have children, while others want only one, and some a house full of kids.
“Raising children is a huge commitment,” said Chang Rickert. “It’s not just an 18 year commitment, it’s a life long commitment. It will completely change you and your marriage. Not discussing the responsibilities involved with raising children is one of the biggest reasons a marriage ends in divorce.”
Discuss the timeline of children. Can you comfortably wait? Or do you need to get started right away?
And what happens if you cannot get pregnant? Would you adopt? Try fertilely treatments? “I’ve handled divorces where the husband leaves because the wife is infertile, and vice versa. IVF is a very trying circumstance and not all couples can afford that,” said Chang Rickert.
Once the children are born, who will take care of them? The childcare especially the first 3 years are will put you through a lot of emotional and physical stress, as you are . basically not sleeping at all for 3 years.
Discuss discipline, expectations and maybe even take a parenting class together before deciding.
- Household chores
This is a big one. The house doesn’t clean itself and meals don’t cook themselves.
Unless you have a big budget (and are ok with unhealthy eating), DoorDash isn’t a good solution for meals. Someone has to cook and clean.
Who will cook? Who will clean?
“If both of you are working full-time jobs, you must discuss housekeeping duties, or your house will be a big mess,” said Chang Rickert. “This will cause you to seek to escape into expensive luxury trips, or the arms of another who provides more stable housing environment.”
This is a BIG one. After kids, sex life can dwindle. Be prepared to discuss what happens if one person has to travel for extended period of time. Or if one has a medical illness (like chemo). Don’t expect that sex is off the table.
Discuss what ideal frequency would be and make sure you find similar activities enjoyable. When the honeymoon phase goes away you don’t want to discover that you aren’t compatible in bed, but merely attracted to each other.
“This is another big one,” said Chang Rickert. “I’ve handled divorces of people who didn’t have the same fitness lifestyle.”
Let’s face it – if you’re a McDonalds eating, never exercising person, long term with a triathlete vegan isn’t going to work.
Over the years the toll of not taking care of ones health can compound so think about the long term affects. Poor health decisions don’t tend to show up in youth but in middle age.
These questions are just the starting point. It is much better to have an awkward conversation now than having this conversation in front of your lawyer, or the judge in your case. Divorces and reveal embarrassing personal information, so if you cannot bring it up to your fiancé imagine how you will feel in a disposition.