Family law solicitors have been asked this question over a thousand times, and it’s a perfectly logical inquiry: how do you bring up a prenup with your partner without coming across like you have a hidden agenda or motive?
In the past, binding financial arrangements were very rare, and most couples took the plunge into marriage without protecting their personal assets. However, this trend is undoubtedly changing, as more and more millennial-aged couples are requesting a binding financial arrangement before committing to each other. However, just because they are becoming more common and accepted in contemporary marriages doesn’t make the conversation any easier. If you want to propose a prenup with your partner or fiancée, then here are some tips that could make the whole process a whole lot easier.
Accept that the conversation will be weird and uncomfortable, no matter what
No matter how well you approach the subject, it is always going to be a weird and uncomfortable topic to discuss. Addressing how your relationship could fail at some point will inevitably engender some tension or anxiety in both of you. There’s no such thing as a prenup conversation that is “hiccup-free” – there are always a few speedbumps along the way. If you want to minimise the severity of these obstacles, then have a conversation with your partner as early as possible. This will give you both ample time to discuss what’s on both of your minds. It will also help you both deal with the prospect of signing the document and any lingering tensions that arise from that.
Reinforce why you’re doing it – to protect both of you
It is also critical that you reinforce the purpose of signing the agreement – to protect both of your assets. A prenup has the power to eradicate a messy, complicated divorce and replace with a more straightforward situation. Sure, there will still be a lot of emotion, unresolved problems and disagreements; however, having a preconceived agreement in place will help clarify property settlements, child custody arrangements and parenting orders.
A prenup should help the poorer spouse
Most people view a binding financial agreement as a way for wealthy partners to shield their assets from their husbands/wives. However, a fair and equitable prenup should benefit the “less wealthy” partner. In fact, a binding financial agreement that unfairly hurts the poorer partner is unlikely to hold up in a courtroom. So, if your agreement intends to protect yourself at the expense of your spouse, then the document will be heavily scrutinised by the legal professionals.
If you’re initiating the agreement, you should make some extra concessions
Furthermore, if the prenup is your idea, then you must show your support and commitment to your relationship with your partner. They might begin to second-guess whether you’re invested in the relationship, which will create uneasiness between the two of you. Consequently, make sure you show that you are still wholeheartedly committed to the relationship. There are many ways you can do this; one reliable method is to concede to split some of your assets, even though you might not necessarily have to as per the prescriptions of the agreement. This way, you can demonstrate that you’re still committed and that your goal is to protect each other should the relationship fail.
So, there are clearly many ways you can effectively and compassionately communicate to your partner that you want a prenup before walking down the aisle. It is critical, however, that you are fair, transparent, and understanding of how this might make your partner feel, and endeavour to get through it together.