How to Have the Conversation About A Prenuptial Agreement
San Diego, CA — News outlets throughout the world have mentioned for years that more couples are signing prenuptial agreements prior to marrying.
It’s likely that the increase in prenups makes the topic less taboo and perhaps opens the door to more couples having that conversation. Still, discussing a document that often is labeled a “divorce agreement” can be tense and uncomfortable.
“Prenup” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. They pack a lot of benefits for those who enter into them.
- Prenuptial agreements allow a couple to decide what will happen to their cash instead of a judge.
- They force couples to face their finances and start planning for their future sooner rather than later.
- They enable couples to view the full picture of their assets, debts and income sources.
We scoured the Internet to identify some best practices for approaching the topic constructively and kindly. Here is what we found.
Framing is Everything
One way to frame the conversation in a constructive manner is to treat a prenuptial agreement like a financial planning tool, the same as you would a 401K or a Roth IRA, according to Brides.com. When discussing a prenup, you’re going to talk about topics including career expectations, whether one of you will stay home to raise children during your marriage, investment plans, and whether to combine your finances. You can treat the agreement as a method for each of you to use as you get on the same page.
One New York attorney quoted in this Huffington Post article offered sage advice on framing the conversation:
“All marriages end, one way or another. Instead of saying, ‘I can’t marry you until we have a prenup,’ try framing it this way: ‘At the end of our marriage, whether it ends in death, as we anticipate, or divorce, what would be important to you and how would you like to be treated?’
Then, pivot and ask your partner if they’d be open to hearing what would matter most to you in either case.”
Think Sooner, Not Later
If a prenup is important to you, it’s worth it to have conversations about it earlier in your relationship, rather than a week before you tie the knot. Bringing up the topic while you’re still dating enables you to gauge your partner’s reaction, according to Huffington Post.
If the reaction is poor, be thankful that you’ve built in enough time to revisit the topic again later. Perhaps circling back to the topic occasionally enables your partner to warm to the topic over time.
Starting the discussion even before your relationship becomes serious also prevents your partner from feeling as though you have a personal concern about them, or that you don’t trust them.
Are you hoping for the best in your marriage, yet you feel it is responsible to plan for another outcome? Then say so. Let your future spouse know if your parents have advised you for years on the importance of a prenuptial agreement, or if you watched your aunt endure a terrible divorce that could have gone more smoothly if a prenup had been in place.
Understanding the “why” often is key in overcoming objections to anything, including prenuptial agreements.
See the Conversation as a Healthy Sign
Marriage is filled with ups and downs; good times and bad ones. Communication is key, so recognize that if you can have a healthy conversation about an uncomfortable topic such as prenuptial agreements, you’re likely well on your way toward a healthy, happy marriage. Remind each other that you’re building a strong relationship by tackling this topic head-on.
Please call our office if you would like more information on creating a prenuptial agreement.
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