How to Bring Up a Prenup with a Future Spouse

Cropped shot of a woman kissing her fiancée on his face in a restaurant. Visual concept for a blog from Family Lawyer Mark Wortman offering suggestions on how to bring up a prenup discussion with your future spouse.

Bringing up a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse can be uncomfortable, awkward, and upsetting. However, being able to have an open conversation about financial topics is crucial for a healthy marriage. While initiating a conversation about getting a prenup can be difficult, the talk doesn’t have to be negative — it can be part of a broader discussion about your future lives together. It can also remove any apprehension or uncertainty you may be feeling and allow you to move forward in your marriage with a greater sense of trust.

Here are several tips on how to bring up a prenup with your future spouse:

Don’t Delay Having the Conversation

If you’re thinking about how to bring up a prenup with your future spouse, you might be wondering when the best time is to do so. It’s important not to delay having the conversation. Bringing up a prenuptial agreement too close to the wedding can make your partner feel pressured — and they may need some time to get comfortable with the idea. Keep in mind that you will also need some time to draft, negotiate, and finalize the prenup.

Be Prepared for a Challenging Conversation

If your future spouse was not expecting you to bring up the idea of a prenup, be prepared for the conversation to be tense, especially if you are the partner who will be bringing substantial assets into the marriage. Instead of allowing your emotions to get the better of you, try to keep calm and center the discussion around your shared future rather than your assets.

Have the Discussion When You and Your Future Spouse are Both Calm

Timing is critical when it comes to bringing up a prenup with your future spouse. Prenups are not a topic that should be brought up in the heat of an argument. It’s much easier to have a reasonable conversation when you and your partner are both calm and level-headed. Be sure to leave enough time for the conversation to take place — consider broaching the topic in the evening or on the weekend in order to have an in-depth discussion.

Focus on the Positive Aspects of a Prenup

Prenups don’t only deal with the possibility of divorce — they can cover a wide range of financial planning topics. When you raise the idea of a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, emphasize the positive aspects instead of focusing on the chance that the marriage might not work out. Stress that a prenup can safeguard property you are bringing into the marriage, shield your business interests, and protect your partner from your own debt. They can also protect the interests of any children you have from a previous relationship and offer you and your future spouse peace of mind.

Use a Prenup Conversation to Strengthen Your Relationship

Since a prenuptial agreement requires full financial disclosure and honest communication, it can help to strengthen the foundation of your relationship. It encourages you and your partner to work together, understand each other’s perspectives, and develop strategies for managing your joint finances. Having the prenup conversation can also promote transparency — and give you and your partner the opportunity to gain insight about each other’s financial expectations.

Talk About Your Financial Goals

Marriage is just as much an economic relationship as it is an emotional one. Before the wedding date, it’s essential to talk about your financial goals with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page. If you’re contemplating how to bring up a prenup with your future spouse, you can approach the subject when having a conversation about finances. Consider what financial objectives you’re hoping to achieve with the prenup and be clear about your intentions. Significantly, a prenup doesn’t only cover what will happen in divorce — it can also specify each partner’s financial obligations during the marriage.

Make the Prenup Discussion Collaborative

Even if you are the higher earner, it’s important for your partner to understand that a prenup isn’t a one-sided agreement. Rather than overwhelm your future spouse with the terms you’d like to see in your prenup, make the conversation a collaborative one so they are comfortable participating. Making decisions on your own can make your partner feel defensive, or as if their opinion is not valued. Assure your partner that they can have input in drafting the agreement and encourage them to hire an attorney who can negotiate on their behalf.

Contact an Experienced Missouri Divorce and Family Law Attorney

If you’re considering a prenup or you’ve been presented with one by your future spouse, it’s important to have legal counsel by your side to ensure your interests are protected. Divorce and family law attorney Mark A. Wortman provides committed counsel and trusted representation to clients in the greater Kansas City, Missouri area for drafting, negotiating, and litigating prenuptial agreements. To schedule a confidential consultation to learn how he can assist you, please contact him today online or by calling (816) 523-6100.