Many clients worry that asking their partner for a prenup dooms their relationship, and they fear their partner will believe they don’t trust them or believe they will get divorced. Unfortunately, a common myth surrounding marital agreements is that couples only draft and enter these agreements if they have trust issues, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Prenuptial agreements do not have an impact on your marriage or lead to divorce. Instead of viewing a prenuptial agreement as a ticking time bomb or the beginning of the end, think of it more like insurance. You likely have car and/or home insurance, and when you sign your insurance contract, you aren’t hoping that your home or vehicle is damaged in a flood or earthquake.
Other common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements are that:
- They only benefit wealthy couples. Couples in any income bracket can benefit from prenuptial agreements. Not only can you protect financial assets but you can protect your financial future. If either party has a lot of debt or intends to accrue debt, the other spouse can be protected from having to cover those debts in divorce.
- They only benefit one party. Prenuptial agreements are supposed to protect and benefit both parties, and a court will not enforce an agreement that has unfair spousal support provisions or was entered into nonvoluntarily. A prenup is also not valid if either party failed to make accurate and complete disclosures concerning their finances and assets.
- They can include anything the couple wants. Prenuptial agreements cannot include terms concerning child support nor can they include elements that are unfair or unreasonable (i.e. weight gain or loss clauses, etc.).
- They are only applicable to a future divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also be used in estate planning matters/ In the event of the passing of either party, the other spouse can refer to terms outlined in your marital agreement.
- They are costly. In comparison to the cost of divorce, a prenuptial agreement is a wise investment, and drafting such an agreement is usually affordable.
Tips for Asking Your Partner to Draft a Prenuptial Agreement
Still worried about discussing a prenup with your partner? Consider the following elements as you broach the subject.
- When you have the conversation matters. Timing can be everything. While you don’t want to wait until your wedding date is around the corner, you should also be mindful that you discuss this with your partner when they are in a good frame of mind. If they are angry or stressed, you may want to wait until they are in a better mental space.
- What you say matters. You should practice or reflect on what you want to say when you ask them to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement with you. They may have a lot of questions and having answers to important questions like why you want a prenup or why you are asking for one now can be helpful. Also remembering the myths we debunked earlier can help you alleviate their worries and clear up any misconceptions.
- How a prenup affects your relationship matters. Tell your partner how much a prenuptial agreement can benefit your relationship. These agreements can help improve a couple’s communication, conflict resolution skills, and understanding of each other’s goals. It can also be important to remind your partner that you love them—just like you worried this discussion would doom your relationship; they may be worried about what you’re asking for a prenup means.
Need help drafting a legally valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement? Burch Shepard Family Law Group is equipped to help. Call (949) 565-4158 or reach out online to request a consultation.