A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that states the stipulations of a divorce, should one occur in the future. Most couples who have prenups sign them prior to getting married. Prenups do not mean a couple plans on getting divorced. It is simply a form of protection one spouse may want to protect his or her assets in the event of a divorce. Prenups are especially popular when one partner comes into the marriage with a great deal of money or assets, in a state that splits marital property down the middle.
If you wish to get a prenup but you have yet to tell your partner, here is how to start the conversation.
Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute
If you know you want a prenuptial agreement, do not wait until the day of your wedding to broach the subject with your spouse. This could put your spouse on the spot and make it impossible to have a fair conversation about it. Your spouse might even wish to postpone the wedding until he or she has thought about signing. The day you realize you would feel more comfortable with a prenup, bring it up in conversation with your fiancé. It is much wiser to inform your spouse of the situation with plenty of time before the wedding.
Be Honest and Straightforward
When it comes to a prenup, be clear and concise. Beating around the bush could make it seem like you are trying to trick your spouse into signing, or that you feel guilty for wanting a prenup. Instead, show your spouse it is a sensible and clearheaded move for your relationship, and that you want to discuss it like adults. Be straightforward about your desire for a prenup from the very beginning, and honest about why you want one. Your spouse will respect your maturity and probably be grateful for how simple you have made the process.
The middle of an argument is not the time to suddenly yell you want a prenup. This can give the idea a negative connotation, as well as make your partner think you only want one out of spite. It can undermine the fact that you always wanted one, but just waited until the wrong moment to discuss it. Instead, wait until you both have clear and level heads to bring up the topic. You also do not want to turn the prenup discussion into an argument. Avoid this issue by broaching the subject in a sensitive and delicate way. Do not begin the discussion with, “I want a prenup.” Instead, handle the intro to the conversation with grace.
Blame Your Attorney
Sometimes it is easier to take the pressure off yourself and to blame someone else for the suggestion of a prenup. If you know your spouse will not react well to you wanting one, blame your attorney for the idea instead. Most attorneys do suggest prenups for many couples, so you probably would not have to lie. Explain that your lawyer highly recommends a prenup, and then use this conversation starter to work out the details. Putting the heat on someone outside the relationship can prevent arguments and keep you and your spouse on the same side.
Throughout your prenup discussion, continuously reassure your partner that this has nothing to do with how you feel toward him or her, or with your confidence that the marriage will last. It is simply a precaution you must take because of your assets, upbringing, or beliefs. Remind your spouse that a prenup is useful not only after a divorce, but if one spouse dies without a will. A prenup can lay out the other spouse’s desires for assets and help the couple avoid probate court. Reassure your partner often that you love him or her, that you are excited to marry, and that the prenup does not mean anything other than your desire for peace of mind.