As a wedding day approaches, most couples are consumed with thoughts of dresses, flowers, music, food, fun, and love. The last thing anyone wants to think about, much less talk about, is how assets will be divided in the event of divorce! However, this is a conversation that many couples need to have. Marriage is full of tricky discussions – it’s ok to start practicing that skill now.
There are many benefits to talking about a prenup. One of those is that the discussion will force you to look at your financial situation and examine both of your attitudes about money. Frankly, a deep discussion about finances should be a prerequisite to marriage, as money is a huge source of friction and discord in many relationships.
Beyond the benefits of discussing financial matters, there are several situations in which having a prenup in place is a good idea, such as:
- If there is a large financial disparity between the two parties
- If you own all or part of a business
- If one of you has a large amount of debt
- If you are remarrying, especially if there are children involved.
Regardless of your reasons, discussing a prenup can be difficult. Sometimes both parties heartily agree to a prenup. In other cases, one person has to convince the other. Here are a few tips for approaching the subject of a prenup:
Pick the Right Time
Don’t bring up a prenup in the heat of the moment or in the middle of an argument. Likewise, don’t introduce the topic in the middle of a romantic dinner to commemorate the anniversary of the day you met. Pick a quiet, neutral time to bring up the topic – when you are both well-rested and calm.
Consider a Mediator
You could suggest a meeting with a mediator who can help you discuss the advantages of a prenup impartially and without emotion. If you decide to move forward and draft a prenup, the mediator can also help you by asking all of the important questions, gathering information, and offering sound, logical advice. Again, a mediator can remove the emotion from a tender subject.
Be truthful and straightforward about why a prenup is important to you. Be very open about your financial situation – the good, the bad, and the uncertainties.
If your partner is opposed to the idea of a prenup, listen to their concerns. Don’t jump right in with arguments.
While you certainly do not expect your marriage to end in divorce, a prenup can allow you to open important lines of communication, have an honest dialogue about financial matters, and ultimately allow you to retain more control of your financial situation, rather than giving that control over to the court system. Approaching the topic is not easy. Remember that a trained attorney can help.