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How to bring up a prenuptial agreement with your partner

A number of people in happy relationships are interested in setting up a prenuptial agreement, but are worried how their partner will react. Wanting a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you are planning on divorce; instead, it removes uncertainty, and can protect both of your interests.

If you do have a crisis in your future marriage, you will already have a number of important decisions finalized, and will not have a court decide your financial future. Despite the upsides, how can you bring up a prenuptial agreement with your partner?

Shared financial future

Start the conversation by addressing your shared financial future. Even if you do not end up creating a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you understand your partner’s financial status before you enter into marriage.

Discuss matters such as each person’s debts, income, bank accounts and retirement plans. You should also discuss any other significant holdings, such as property, businesses, investments or trust funds. Determine the current financial status of the other person, and where you both hope to be in the future.

Address concerns

Speak up if any aspects of your partner’s financial status worry you. Do they have a large amount of credit card debt? Do they earn significantly less than you do? If so, tell them why you are worried, and discuss what you both can do to address the problem.

Discrepancies in wealth or debts are common points of contention. The more uneven the financial statuses between partners, the greater chance you will have differing opinions on how financial matters should be handled.

Dive in

After starting the financial conversation, bring up the idea of creating a prenuptial agreement. Keep the conversation open and friendly. Make the topic approachable, and keep your partner from feeling like they are under attack. Ask them if they have ever considered a prenuptial agreement, and explain why you think it would be a good idea for your marriage. Patiently listen to, and address, their concerns.

Focus on the idea that creating a prenuptial agreement prepares you both for a smooth financial future. You do not want them to feel like you are trying to keep “your” property from “their” property.

If nothing else, prenuptial agreements remove uncertainty. Both people know their financial status and what assets or debts they are responsible for. Removing ambiguity can make for a less contentious marriage by predetermining solutions for common points of contention.

Restrictions

There are limits to what you can include in your prenuptial agreement. To cite a few, you cannot include anything illegal, child support payments, provisions that incentivize divorce or include personal provisions.

If you are interested in setting up a prenuptial agreement, consider contacting an attorney, who can help you write an agreement that both parties are happy with.

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