How to Tactfully Ask for a Prenup
Talking about a prenup with your significant other is scary territory. Amongst the biggest fears you might have, is that it could lead to the end of your relationship. However, careful planning for a thoughtful conversation using the right approach can lead to a successful discussion. Here are some tips to help you have a safe, non-threatening talk:
Start the conversation early
If you have enough foresight to bring up the topic of a prenup prior to engagement, go for it. The earlier you insert this taboo word into your conversations with your loved one, the better. He or she will have time to get used to the idea, and it won't come as a shock right after an engagement, or worse yet, a real downer amid wedding planning. Plus, creating an equitable prenup takes some time. You don't want to leave it to the last minute and rush writing the terms.
Make it a broader discussion
"I want to talk about getting a prenup" can sound like a threatening way to start a conversation. It will likely put the other party immediately on the defensive. But saying, "I'd like to talk about how we want to handle money if/when we're married" is a much more reasonable, friendly topic to introduce. Start the conversation as a way to get your financial plans in sync. You could begin by dreaming together about how you want to live during your retirement years. Or ask whether you'll join bank accounts. Once a conversation about financials is flowing, you can simply float the question, "Should we think about having a prenuptial?"
Make clear you'll write it together
Ensure your partner that any prenup you come up with will be written together. You aren't looking to force anything on the other person. The document you come up with will be equitable. The goal is to create an agreement where everyone's needs are heard and met. Both parties have to feel safe and protected by the terms before anyone signs.
Do it for the kids
If kids are already involved in your relationship, a prenup can protect assets that are intended to be passed down to them. Explain to your partner that you don't want to leave your kids in a contentious situation should a divorce come about. Point out that people write wills to make their intentions clear should they pass away, so why not make both intentions clear should a divorce occur?
Whether you're looking to protect the assets you bring into a marriage, or you just want to have a playbook to avoid dispute in case of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can be a smart document to have. It doesn't have to favor or punish anyone. Seen in the right light, a prenuptial is a way of caring about each other's wellbeing, regardless of whether you're married.