While there are many things to worry about when your wedding approaches, a conversation about a pre-nup may be the most stressful. Who wants to talk about how you'll divide your assets, if you divorce while planning a joyous occasion?
Brides magazine recently posted an article, “Here's How to Start That Prenup Conversation,” that provides some tips to help get that conversation started.
It’s best to try to have a productive conversation about a pre-nup, by positioning it in the right light. There’s so much negative emotional energy surrounding the idea of a premarital agreement. However, you can begin by asking your fiancé about how you'll address your finances in marriage, like investing and joint banking accounts. This can put it all in a more positive light. Think of a premarital agreement as a financial planning tool to help you have discussions about what your finances will be like during your marriage.
With that in mind, you can approach it as working to prevent a divorce, not preparing for what things will look like when you get divorced. Talk about a pre-nup in terms of fears and goals, so that when you and your fiancé understand the rationales of the request for a pre-nup, it’s generally more accepted and less emotional.
You should also talk with an experienced estate planning attorney and see how your state law applies to your marriage in the event of a divorce. A pre-nup allows you to discuss and draft an agreement that’s focused on both spouses. Find out from your attorney what protections you’d have under state law, and make sure that they're included.
Don’t treat a pre-nup as an ultimatum—telling your fiancé that he or she must sign or you won't get married is not the way to start a marriage. You should instead begin your discussions with your attorneys many months before your wedding, which will allow time for negotiation and reflection. Your attorney can help you understand the document and explain why it can be valuable. This can create transparency concerning how you’ll handle future finances, accounts, home ownership and investments.
It best to begin discussions early, instead of waiting until you're frenzied or just plain too busy with wedding planning.
Reference: Brides (June 2, 2017) “Here's How to Start That Prenup Conversation”