Written by Jonathan Breeden
You’re engaged! Congratulations, but what happens next?
Before you get into choosing a wedding venue, picking your bridal party, and finding the perfect dress, set aside some time for discussing a few delicate financial issues – like the need for a prenup.
Prenuptial agreements are a difficult topic for many couples, but this type of agreement is essential if you have financial or business interests to protect. If you’re wondering how to start this conversation in a productive way, keep the following tips in mind.
If you do decide on getting a valid and comprehensive prenuptial agreement, it is best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney. With offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, Breeden Law Office provides step by step legal guidance and representation throughout Johnston and Harnett Counties, NC. Let us help you come up with a prenuptial agreement that works for you, your fiancé, and gives you the financial security you’re looking for.
Pick the appropriate time and place to bring up the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. Avoid times that you or your partner tend to be stressed or rushed. Instead of ambushing them with this discussion when they walk in the door after work, wait until you’ve had a good meal and have plenty of time to dedicate to the conversation.
How you approach this topic is also important. Starting with a confrontational statement like “I want a prenup” or “You need to sign a prenuptial agreement before we get married” is bound to make the conversation uncomfortable.
Instead, start with a question. Make it clear that you want to have a conversation, not make demands.
If your partner is against the idea of a prenuptial agreement, it’s likely that they’ll take your suggestion as an implication that you don’t believe your marriage will last. Let them know that a prenuptial agreement isn’t a path to divorce and that you fully plan on being with them forever.
If they can view discussing prenuptials as a mutually beneficial task that protects both parties, they are less likely to fight about it.
Be prepared for the possibility that the discussion will become heated. You have to make a commitment to stay composed, even if your partner lashes out. If the conversation is no longer productive, don’t be afraid to take a break and pick it up later.
When you are in the position of defending yourself, there is nothing to be gained from continuing the conversation. Gently end the conversation, suggest picking it up at a later time when you are both calm, and change the topic.
In some situations, the party who is being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement feels powerless against the person who is asking for the prenuptial agreement. It’s important that both parties feel empowered and free to voice their concerns during this conversation.
After bringing up the topic, let your partner talk. If you find yourself listing the reasons you want a prenuptial agreement or preemptively challenging your partner’s potential concerns, take a deep breath and be quiet. No one wants to feel “talked at.”
Make sure your partner is an active participant. Try to stay open to discussing their worries, answering their questions, and considering other options. This is just the first of many tough conversations you will have if you get married. Consider it a good way to practice tackling problems as a team, rather than as adversaries.
Ensure that both parties have legal counsel. This may put your partner at ease, as they know that they have someone advocating for their best interests. In this situation, both partners can bring up their prenuptial and postnuptial questions to a trusted third party.
Sound legal advice is an essential part of drafting and negotiating a prenuptial agreement. Consider working with an attorney who is dedicated to protecting your best interests and who understands the importance of maintaining your relationship with your partner.
Attorney Jonathan Breeden can help you avoid common prenuptial mistakes and create an enforceable agreement. At the Breeden Law Office, we have a lot of experience helping couples with prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements. We can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.