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Talking to Your Partner about a Prenuptial Agreement

 Posted on September 29, 2015 in Prenuptial Agreements

b2ap3_thumbnail_prenuptial-agreement-talking-partner-prenup.jpgNo newly-engaged couple wants to envision their separation. Nothing can spoil the romance and magic of finding a lifelong partner and getting engaged like the thought of divorce. While nobody enters a marriage expecting to get divorced, the reality is that divorce rates in the US are rising steadily. Modern society has less of a stigma about divorce than in the past, so couples that find themselves unhappy are more frequently deciding to go their separate ways. While no marriage should be entered into lightly, everyone certainly deserves the chance to be happy in their life, and if a divorce is the answer down the road, so be it. With divorce, however, comes the tricky details of splitting your finances, which can be be especially tough for couples entering marriage with significant assets already accrued. The difficult process of splitting assets has led to many couples choosing to sign prenuptial agreements. While discussing a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage can be very difficult, you and your partner will both be financially better off for it, in the unfortunate case of a future divorce. There are a few tactics you can use to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your partner while maintaining a positive outlook.

Why a Prenup?

Marriage has changed a great deal in the past 20 to 30 years. As stated above, divorce rates are among the highest that they have been in decades. On top of that, there is not as much pressure from society to get married at a young age. Many Americans are waiting until well into adulthood to get engaged. By that point in their lives, they have most likely accrued significant assets like cars, homes, and large bank accounts. A young, recently engaged couple with no large individual assets may not need a prenup. For those more financially established couples, however, combining and then splitting assets down the road can be much trickier. For most couples, it is easier to create a financial agreement early in the relationship so there is less uncertainty down the road. Both partners will be allowed to account for all of their individually owned assets, and designate what will happen to them in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also designate what happens to your assets in case of a death as well.

Start the Conversation Early

There are right and wrong ways to bring up prenuptial agreements with your future spouse. If you approach the conversation incorrectly, you run the risk of scaring them off, or coming off as selfish. There should, however, be nothing selfish about wanting to protect your assets and provide yourself with peace of mind. The best way to ease the tension between you and your partner is to bring up your desire for a prenup early. Ideally, have this conversation pre-engagement. The best case scenario is one where your partner knows about your desire for a prenup and is totally comfortable with it prior to getting engaged. They will feel more relaxed about the topic, and are likely to be more open to further discussions later down the road.

Be Honest

When having the conversation of a prenup with your partner, be prepared to be totally honest. Your job is to help your partner understand why getting a prenuptial agreement is best for both of you. Try explaining to your partner that a prenuptial agreement simply allows both of you to designate what happens to your assets. The other option is leaving that decision up to a judge, which is never a good idea. Also, be prepared to speak openly about your assets. One of the best things about a prenuptial agreement is that it forces partners to honestly disclose their finances with each other. In reality, this opens up the conversation for future financial planning, something most couples do not do until years into their marriage.

As the discussion continues, be ready to listen to your partner’s concerns. Imagine yourself as your partner, and consider the emotions they could be feeling. If the conversation gets heated, find ways to compromise. The best prenuptial agreement is one that works for both partners, so be prepared to make changes to your wishes depending on your partners. Keep in mind that this is not a battle against each other, but rather a strengthening of your marriage.

Find Help

When drafting the agreement, be sure to seek professional help. Your individual lawyers may be inclined to skew the agreement in you or your partner’s favor, so you may consider a mediator to help you prepare the agreement. Once you’ve had your mediator help you put together an agreement acceptable to both of you, check in with your individual attorneys. They can review your agreement to ensure it is working for you.

If you are considering divorce, a qualified Naperville divorce attorney can help. Contact the Pesce Law Group today at 630-352-2240 to learn more today.


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