After the feelings of elation from a Valentine’s Day proposal subside, you will eventually come back down to earth. Then it is time to discuss a potentially uncomfortable topic—the prenuptial agreement. These agreements have a bad reputation, but they are like placing an insurance policy on marriage–they provide a solid foundation.
It is Never Too Early to Discuss Prenups
Why begin talking about prenuptial agreements so early? The process of forming a prenuptial agreement essentially forces partners to hold rational conversations about financial circumstances, expectations, and plans. Gaining this deep understanding of financial and emotional objectives helps solidify the foundation of a relationship. Although prenuptial agreement discussions can be awkward, they will only become more difficult as the wedding date draws closer.
Couples are generally in alignment during the early stages of an engagement, making it an opportune moment to plan for the future. This is the right time to establish expectations regarding a romantic and economic partnership, including your respective values and goals.
Steps to Achieve a Solid Prenuptial Agreement
The creation process is as crucial as the resulting agreement. During these conversations, you should:
- Review the prospects and goals of each partner
- Reflect on your future desires and potential problems you want to avoid
- Help your partner to see that by creating this agreement as an act of love, you will reduce the prospect for worry and uncertainty
But How Do You Effectively Hold These Conversations?
Begin working toward an arrangement at least six months before the wedding; waiting too long can cause one or both of you to feel unhappy and add undue stress.
Broach the subject with your partner in a loving, delicate way. A prenuptial agreement is not a threat or a deceptive or retaliatory act. This is not the kind of discussion to have when you’re angry or in the middle of an argument.
Suggest that each of you work with a collaboratively trained lawyer or employ a neutral mediator to foster effective communication. These conversations can be uncomfortable, so working with experienced non-adversarial professionals during the process protects your interests and helps keep things moving forward toward a positive resolution.
A Prenuptial Agreement is a Contract
You must understand that a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract, and that means you should give careful consideration to the process and resulting document. Downloading a prenuptial form on the internet can be a costly mistake. Because of the legal requirements involved, these generic documents often prove unenforceable.
For more information about the benefits of prenups and the process of designing an agreement, contact Batley Family Law. We would be happy to help you develop a prenuptial agreement that mirrors the adoration you have for your partner and protects the life you plan to create together.