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Broaching the Subject of a Prenuptial Agreement With Your Partner

Smiling couple agreed to sign prenuptial contract, handsome man putting signature on document while sitting together with his wife, taking bank loan, health insurance, signing financial papers

4 Tips to Start the Conversation

A prenuptial agreement can play an important role in protecting your assets from the financial pitfalls of divorce. Yet, no matter how much financial sense it makes to have a prenup in place, the idea of establishing one can be a difficult, emotionally charged topic to discuss with your partner. Here, we offer several tips to help you start the conversation.

#1 – Be ready to articulate your reason(s) for wanting a prenup.

If you’re considering a prenup, you likely have a reason. The best way to start the conversation with your soon-to-be spouse is by honestly laying out your concerns. Before having a discussion, take some time to consider exactly why you want a prenup. For example, prenups can make sense in the following circumstances:

  • You own a business, and you (and your business partners) need to ensure your ownership can’t be affected by a future change in marital status.
  • There’s a significant imbalance between your wealth and your partner’s wealth coming into the marriage.
  • There’s a significant imbalance between your income and your partner’s income. This works both ways, as both partners can benefit from an agreement of how much spousal support might be available, especially if the lesser-earning spouse will be staying home to raise children.
  • You have specific separate assets you want to direct the disposition of (such as an inheritance, a home or other real estate) or savings set aside for a specific purpose.
  • You’ve been married previously and have children from a previous marriage whom you wish to provide for — or other considerations with regard to honoring the wishes of, or agreements with, a prior spouse.
  • Your partner brings significant debt to the relationship that you wish to protect yourself from.
  • You wish to maintain ownership of a cherished pet.
  • You don’t believe your state’s marital asset division laws are fair.

#2 – Consider your timing.

Bringing up the topic of a prenup a week before your wedding probably isn’t a great idea. Nor is trying to discuss it in the middle of a romantic dinner. Instead, broach the subject at least a few months before your wedding at a time when you can both give your full attention to having an open and honest conversation.

#3 – Bring up your desire for a prenup during a conversation about your overall financial goals.

It can be difficult to talk to your future spouse about sensitive financial issues, but being on the same page from a financial perspective before you get married can help you avoid conflict after you say “I do.” A great time to bring up the topic of a prenup is as you’re discussing your other shared financial goals and plans.

Other financial topics to cover in this discussion include:

  • Details about your financial history, including income, spending habits, debt, any past financial troubles, etc.
  • Your biggest financial fears or worries
  • What you hope your future will look like

#4 – Be ready to collaborate.

While it’s important to come to the table with an idea of why you want to discuss a prenup, avoid dictating the specific terms. Instead, work with your partner to develop terms that are mutually beneficial. Take into consideration your future spouse’s opinions and feelings as you draft a document you both feel comfortable signing.

The prenuptial agreement conversation can be a difficult and uncomfortable one to initiate, but it can also help you get on the same page as your spouse prior to saying “I do.”

Could you use some help broaching the topic of a prenup? Creative Planning is here for you. Our teams of wealth managers and estate planning attorneys work together to help ensure your legal interests are well cared for and in line with your overall financial plan. For more information, schedule a call with a member of our team.

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


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