Talking About A Prenuptial Agreement With Your Fiancé(e)
Many people are afraid to ask their fiancé(e’) to sign a prenuptial agreement. They think their fiancé(e’) will refuse to sign and call off the wedding. While this would be a terrible thing, there are worst things, like loosing all your money and your home. In my experience, our clients who have a problem with the prenuptial agreement are people who are not interested in marrying for love. The majority of our client’s state that they will sign anything their future spouse wants them to sign because all they really want is to be with him/her. We should run away from any person who objects to signing a prenuptial agreement, and then open our eyes to their real motives.
You should explain to your fiancé(e’) that a prenuptial agreement is not wanted because you don’t love or trust her/him. You want a prenuptial agreement because of your love and your love extends even to the time when you may not be together. If you don’t stay together you want to be able to maintain a good relationship. If you do divorce the prenuptial agreement will be your settlement agreement. Everything has been decided in the prenuptial agreement so there will not be any fighting at the time of a divorce.
Divorce is often an intense adversarial process with no winners other than the lawyers. Lawyer fees will reduce or eliminate monies either party would be awarded. A wise person would take steps to avoid the vicious fighting that can take place during a divorce. A prudent person would take steps to avoid loosing everything they owned.
The reality is prenuptial agreements are designed to protect a less wealthy person rather than to hurt them. Inform your intended spouse that the prenuptial agreement will ensure that she/he will be cared for in the event of dissolution of marriage.
Parents and children can often insist that you have a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests, family owned investments, properties or a family business. Inform your intended spouse that your family will not approve of your marriage unless there is a prenuptial agreement. You can also inform your intended spouse that you need and want to take care of your children and parents. Most foreign born people are extremely committed to taking care of their parents and will understand your position. In the same way, business partners will always be happy when their partners have a prenuptial agreement. If a judge requires business assets to be liquidated in order to fund a settlement, the partners of a business can be adversely impacted. By using these types of explanations it doesn’t look like the prenuptial agreement is entirely your idea. My business partners and parents requirement me to have a prenuptial agreement, and I want it to ensure my children will be cared for in the future.
Do not make your talk an emotional topic of discussion. Just be matter of fact about it.
Have the conversation when you are alone together, in a quiet place where you can be assured there will not be any interruptions. There isn’t a good way to start the conversation so, just jump in.
Example: I have been thinking about the things we need to take care of before the wedding and wanted to talk with you about a prenuptial agreement. My family will not approve of our marriage unless there is a prenuptial agreement. My business partners and parents requirement me to have a prenuptial agreement, and I want it to ensure my children will be cared for in the future. I need to make sure they will always be okay. It’s like having insurance to protect us and my family in the event something we can’t imagine now, were to happen in the future.
If you take the time to think about what you will say in advance and decide to make it a matter of fact type of discussion, while providing a valid reason for needing a prenuptial agreement as discussed above, you should not encounter any resistance if your intended spouse truly loves you. If you encounter heavy resistance you should seriously evaluate your intended spouse’s motives. We all need to know that the person we are marrying, is marry us out of love. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health.
Some people say that it’s not romantic to talk about a prenup. When there is resistance to a discussion one could also state that it’s not romantic to know that your intended spouse is expecting to benefit financially from you as a result of the marriage. When we consider that the institution of marriage has typically been motivated by the love that each party has for the other, we wonder why anyone would have difficulty with signing a prenuptial agreement. Shouldn’t a loving person’s position be that they don’t have any problem with a prenuptial agreement because they are not entering into the marriage for financial benefit? That their desire to enter into marriage is based on love and nothing else?
Wouldn’t it also be true that a loving person would understand and agree with the intentions of their prospective spouse to retain assets for the benefit of his/her children from a prior marriage/relationship.
Wouldn’t that same loving person also understand that their prospective spouse would want to assure his/her security in retirement by taking steps to protect savings and investments from being lost in a contentious divorce.