5 Things to Ask Your Intended Before You Propose from a Divorce Lawyer

National Proposal Day takes place on March 20 every year which also coincides with the first day of spring – the perfect time for new beginnings! Whether you’re planning an over-the-top surprise, a swoon-worthy romantic gesture, or a simple, sweet moment, there are some answers you need before you pop the question. As a divorce lawyer, here are five things I recommend you ask your intended.

Consider the Common Causes of Divorce

Yes, it seems kind of depressing to think about divorce right when you’re about to propose, but it’s important to do so, if for no other reason than to avoid making the mistakes that often lead to it. According to Marriage.com, between 42 – 45% of marriages end in divorce the first year and in my experience, some of the most common reasons include:

  • Incompatibility
  • Lack of communication
  • Financial issues

What to Ask Before You Propose Marriage

What’s most surprising about these particular reasons is that they can be addressed in large part before you get married. And they should be, to make sure you have a solid foundation going into one of, if not the most, important contract of your life. While I recognize these conversations can be difficult, if you can’t talk openly with your soon-to-be spouse then you might want to re-think proposing altogether! That said, at minimum, you should be asking these questions:

  1. What are your expectations of having children, or not? – This is definitely something you want to be on the same page about. Not even just whether you both want kids, but also your thoughts on infertility treatments or adoption should it be difficult to conceive. Then, once you have children, what your expectations are in terms of child care, how active you want your families to be in their lives, and so on.
  2. What are your professional goals? – Work is such a big part of our lives, it’s essential that you know each other’s plans. Will one of you stay home with the kids? Will one or both of your jobs become increasingly more demanding? Would you move for work? Do either of you need additional education to achieve your goals? What benefits, such as insurance, will each of you have through work?
  3. What’s your money management style? – Is one of you in debt and, if so, how do you plan to tackle it? Do your spending habits match up or are one of you a saver and the other a spender? How do you plan to save for retirement? Do you want joint accounts or separate? Do you prefer to rent or own? How will you share the household expenses? If you differ on any or all of these things, how will you compromise as a married couple?
  4. What is your hope for daily life as a married couple? – This question has many layers, and really, it’s about how you’ll function as a married couple. How will you divide the household chores? Who will handle the mental load of running our household? What are your sleep habits? What are your eating habits; for example, does one of you maintain a strict diet and the other live on junk food? Is one of you a neat freak and the other messy?
  5. What’s your communication style? – Beyond how you communicate with each other in general but also knowing how you each resolve conflicts, share your feelings, show affection, and even how much you share about your relationship with other people is essential. Understanding where the other is coming from goes such a long way in avoiding miscommunication and misunderstanding. Communication styles are rooted in personality of course, so additional questions might include: Do you see yourself as an introvert or extrovert? Are you a planner, or spur of the moment? How much time do you like to spend on your own or with friends and family? 

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WhitsonLaw, PLLC

WhitsonLaw can assist you with divorce, mediation, custody, child support, protective orders, adoption and more.

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