I get how prenups can make divorce easier. But how can a prenup help my actual marriage?

A prenup can benefit your actual marriage, here are three lesser known ways prenups can set your union on the right path from day one.

We don’t need to tell you that prenups are generally perceived as something that’s only useful if you get divorced. We’re pretty sure you picked up on that from, well, just about everywhere: the movies, celebrity drama, a certain rap song that shall remain nameless here. But what you may not know as much about is how a prenup can benefit your actual marriage. You know, while you’re actually married (presumably forever). 

Here are three lesser known ways prenups can set your union on the right path from day one.

Prenups can establish financial roles and responsibilities during the marriage

A prenup can be used to spell out specific, day-to-day financial roles and responsibilities of each spouse. For example, if you want to establish a shared understanding upfront about how you’ll be handling your finances, your prenup could outline whether you’ll be operating out of a joint bank account, individual, or both, and how that would exactly work. This is especially helpful when one spouse earns significantly more than the other, but they share the same lifestyle. Or, let’s say you want to outline who pays for what each month. If one spouse wants to cover childcare while the other covers the mortgage payment and utilities, you can have that reflected in your prenup.

Prenups are the perfect launching pad for philosophical financial alignment

Engaging in the prenup process forces couples to get into the nitty-gritty details of their finances, how they’ve been handling their own money, and most importantly, how they think about it—their philosophy on it. Are you both big savers? Or is one of you actually in credit card debt? Do you have the same point of view on the importance of future expenses, like kids’ college? Are you both done with your own education? Creating a prenup is a fantastic launching pad for these kinds of foundational money conversations that need to happen before you’re legally bound to each other.

Prenups build trust and communication

Prenups clarify financial matters, of course. But for most couples, the actual process of creating a prenup is quite positive, from an emotional angle. Working together on a prenup requires vulnerability, honesty and transparency, and can be uncomfortable at times—but on the other side of that is a greater sense of trust, a more open line of communication, and a bolstered bond. The best part is, you’re cultivating that new kind of closeness right at the start of your marriage, so you can start off on the strongest foot now—and avoid any surprises later. So while prenups are generally related to divorce, it’s also something that can truly strengthen your relationship—and set a solid foundation that helps you avoid future conflict and confusion.