How to handle pre-nup talks and negotiations like a boss without hurting your partner’s feelings.
Who knows where the prenuptial agreement got its bad rap, but it’s definitely a hard one to shake loose.
Fact is, many think prenups jinx the marriage before it begins, or get offended thinking their partner doesn’t trust them enough. And then, of course, there are those who believe that love is all we need, and prenups are a threat to that belief.
But what, exactly, is a prenup?
Well, it’s a legal contract a couple enters into before marriage; a plan, guide or agreement on what happens to one’s assets, property, debt, inheritance and so on in case the marriage ends.
So, should you get one?
Well, more and more experts (from lawyers to marriage counselors) are advising that you do! You see, it goes beyond protecting one’s assets. It’s about having a clear plan as a couple in case the unforeseen happens, and that not only covers your rights to property, but child custody as well.
Now, before you get started, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t put it off, start the discussion ASAP.
- Don’t go along to get along, saying yes when you mean no just to get it over with.
- Avoid using the same lawyer. It may seem like a way to save money or be on the “same side,” but it’s important to have separate representation.
- Don’t let your loving feelings sabotage your future security.
- Don’t do it alone. Seek professional advice from financial or premarital counselors on where to start.
So, let’s look at prenups differently, and consider these following benefits when you sit your fiancé down to have this awkward yet crucial conversation.
Benefit #1: Gets You Comfortable Talking & Thinking About Money Together
Money is usually a touchy subject for most couples, but going into your marriage knowing you and your partner can work through tough talks and have the ability to compromise and negotiate for win-win scenarios will go a long way in your relationship.
Benefit #2: Creates Future Financial Planning
Afterall, prenups are just the fine print of how finances will be delineated if the marriage ends, BUT it also forces you to take a look at each other’s wealth, investments, debt and individual financial goals, which gives you a head start on what your marriage or family financial goals, and steps to get there, need to be.
Benefit #3: Protects Assets, For Richer & Poorer
Yes, it’s usually the partner who has more financial risk at stake that suggests a prenup, but even those who have less wealth can benefit from this premarital agreement. Make sure to be open to discussing what you want, what you think is fair in case of divorce and leave room to make adjustments later on down the line.
Benefit #4: It Puts You in Control
Look, I know you’re planning to stay together forever, but there’s nothing wrong with expecting the best and being prepared for the unexpected. The reality is that divorces can get ugly.
So, planning now for the division of rights, assets, custody, debt, property or businesses allows you to maintain control over your financial future in the unfortunate case of a divorce.
*Tip: Prenuptial agreement templates and samples are available online for reference as what to expect or include when preparing your prenup.
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