Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and the famous, if they ever were. Prenups are becoming more popular by the year for couples of all income levels and composition types. Being the first to bring up the topic of a prenup after an engagement can, however, feel like a heavy task. It’s important to take care of the prenup in advance of the wedding, but how do you go about it without creating unnecessary drama with your partner?
Have the Conversation as Early as Possible
Asking for a prenuptial agreement is likely to lead to a serious conversation. The last thing you want to do is have that conversation and any temporary fallout right before the wedding. Besides the fact that it could make the wedding less joyful, you will already be busy dealing with a hundred logistical issues leading up to the wedding. Have the conversation soon after getting engaged so that you and your partner know where you stand, and any residual issues can be resolved well in advance of the marriage.
Be Honest About Your Reasons, Your Concerns, and the Purpose of a Prenup
When you go into the process, make sure to explain the purposes of a prenup. Many people believe prenups are meant to benefit one party and harm the other. In reality, prenups can protect both parties; make sure your partner understands that they can make requests as well, even if they have less separate property prior to marriage. The prenup will also avoid many headaches and complications that would arise down the line in the event of divorce, at which point you would be less emotionally equipped to resolve matters amicably and for the benefit of both parties.
It’s also important to raise any other concerns you have. A prenup is meant to protect each party’s financial interests in the event of a divorce. It’s OK to say that you want to ensure you are both financially independent in case of divorce, or that it’s important that you do not feel financially disadvantaged or exploited in case the marriage does not last. These will be conversation topics to discuss as you draft the document.
Draft the Prenup Together
A prenup is not meant to be a powerplay solely for the benefit of one side. Families of all compositions can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, whether there is one primary income-earner or two parties who generate roughly the same income. Drafting the prenup should be a collaborative effort between both parties and their respective attorneys. Make sure your partner feels that the prenup addresses their needs as opposed to just protecting your interests. The more you keep the process collaborative, and the less it comes across like you are unilaterally making demands, the better you will both be throughout the process. Treating the drafting as a team effort rather than a power struggle will make the process and much simpler and less contentious.
Accept That It’s Going to Be a Weird Conversation
Bringing up a prenuptial agreement isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world. Many people carry misconceptions about the purpose of a prenup, and even if they understand, it is still an awkward process. Know going in that the conversation might get heavy, as you will need to discuss what happens in the event that your marriage does not last forever. Consider discussing the prenup in couples therapy or other productive settings. As long as you work together, and you both understand that it’s a collaborative process meant to benefit you both, you will get through it and be stronger on the other side.
Get Help Drafting Your New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement
If you’re engaged and considering a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey or dealing with divorce, child support, child custody, property division, or other family law issues, contact the Englewood family law attorneys Herbert & Weiss at (201) 500-2151.