In Focus: Discussing a Prenuptial Agreement with Your Fiancé
Today, many individuals are delaying marriage in order to advance in their careers. Similarly, it is becoming increasingly common for people to enter into second marriages. In both situations, it is likely that these parties have accumulated significant assets. This makes having a prenuptial agreement a good idea if you plan on marrying in the future.
How should I talk to my partner about a prenup?
Obviously, broaching this topic with your partner can be ridden with anxiety. Nonetheless, there are ways you can discuss a prenup in a productive manner, here’s how:
Have the Conversation Early — It’s been said that procrastination is the thief of dreams, and delaying a conversation about a prenup can certainly add pressure to the marriage planning. It is far better to raise the idea of a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé during your post-engagements talks. This will give each of you a chance to talk about your ideas and expectations from the marriage. Addressing the issue early on can allow you to have ongoing, relaxed communications.
Work Together — You should negotiate the terms together, perhaps with the help of a neutral third party, and draft the prenuptial agreement collaboratively. This will allow each of you to understand what the other person wants from the marriage. At the same time, it is important for each partner to have their attorneys review the final draft. Otherwise it may be deemed invalid by the court in the event of a challenge during a divorce proceeding.
Be Clear About What You Want — Discussing a prenuptial agreement may stir up anger or resentment for both partners. Therefore, it is important to be honest about what you want, explain your views, andalways be transparent, especially about sensitive terms. The discussion will go better if your partner understands your reasoning.
Be a Good Listener — The most effective communicators are those who know how to listen. With this in mind, it is vital to listen to your partner’s needs and concerns, which may differ from yours. If disagreements arise, try to find a compromise and be creative about reaching mutually beneficial solutions. Ultimately, putting a prenuptial agreement in place is not about winning a battle, but building your relationship.
Be Prepared for Changes — A prenuptial agreement can help plan for the future as a couple, which is uncertain at best. After your marriage, your financial situation may change, your partner may leave work to raise kids, or you may start a business together. Therefore, a prenuptial agreement is not written in stone, and may need to be amended or replaced by a post-marital agreement.
In the end, a well designed prenuptial agreement will address and resolve the financial issues that the parties expect to face during the marriage ahead of time. If you need assistance negotiating or drafting a prenup, you should enlist the services of Blair H. Chan III, PLLC, an experienced family law attorney.