Sitting down with the person you love and asking him or her to sign a prenuptial agreement isn’t a conversation anyone wants to have. But it’s a critical one. What you say, and the manner in which you say it, can increase or destroy the trust between you.
Here are five ways to ask for a prenup that can actually make your relationship stronger.
Ask well before the wedding invitations go out.
Give your fiancé enough unpressured time to adjust to the idea, meet with their own attorney, and respond to your proposal. Waiting until the wedding date is looming will just engender suspicion, feelings of betrayal, and resentment. You will have effectively backed your fiancé into a corner. If they say no, or need more time to make an informed decision, the wedding will have to be canceled or postponed. If they say yes, and rush through the prenup process, they may resent you for putting them in a bad bargaining position. Create an atmosphere of fairness and transparency by taking the urgency out of the negotiation.
Present the prenuptial agreement as your idea, not your parents’.
Families with means often initiate prenups for their adult children. Even if this is the case, youneed to take responsibility for your decision to ask for one. Trying to seem like the nice guy/girl by letting your parents take the fall sets the stage for thorny in-law relations. It also makes you seem like a child. You’re getting married, so act like the adult that you are.
Explain that it’s a way of preventing problems.
Yes, you’re planning to stay married forever, but you can’t predict the future and prenups are designed to minimize disagreements. Clarifying what remains separate property can help keep legal fees down in the event that you do get divorced. Your prenup can also include language about what’s expected during the marriage: for instance, establishing joint accounts and how much each is supposed to contribute.
Encourage your fiancé to include his or her own items. The document should not just be about you protecting your own assets. Let your fiancé know that you intend for it to be a fair, mutual agreement by encouraging him or her to incorporate terms that are important to them.
Listen to your fiance’s feedback. Prenups have a bad reputation and your fiancé may be less than thrilled that you asked for one. They may need time processing the experience and how to respond to it. Bottom line, it’s not reasonable to ask them to make a major legal and financial decision without being empathetic to their feelings about it. Don’t pressure them if they’re upset or unsure about what to do. Assuming that you’ve allowed plenty of time for negotiations before the wedding, there shouldn’t be a rush to seal the deal.
Assure your fiancé that however they feel is okay. Take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. Your partner will be much more inclined to sign a prenup if he or she feels that her feelings matter.
If you are engaged to be married, it is important to know all of your legal options. Our highly experienced attorneys at Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, LLC can work with you to safeguard your property and monetary assets through careful premarital planning and give you peace of mind through your marriage. Call us at 888-888-0919, or click the button below.