Valentine’s Day Proposals — First Comes Love, Then Comes…a Prenup?
If you got engaged on Valentine’s Day, congratulations! Now it’s time to think about a potentially awkward topic—a prenuptial agreement. Despite the negative connotation often associated with these agreements, the process of creating a prenup can help you build a strong base for your marriage.
Introduce the Idea Now
Why start this early? The process of creating a prenuptial agreement involves thoughtful discussions of financial situations, expectations, and goals. While the understanding forged by these financial and emotional conversations helps create a solid foundation for your relationship, these conversations are not easy, and they will only become more difficult as the wedding date approaches.
During the early stage of an engagement, you are likely to be in alignment with plans for your future. This is the perfect time to talk about what marriage and economic partnership mean to each of you based on your respective values, goals, and ideas around money.
Steps Toward a Solid Prenuptial Agreement
With prenuptial agreements, the creation process often holds as much value as the end agreement itself. During these discussions you will:
- Come to understand what is important to each of you, including your respective prospects and goals.
- Think about what you want for the future and what you want to avoid.
- Help your partner see that creating a prenuptial agreement is not done out of fear but love. By creating the agreement, you reduce the potential for worry and uncertainty in the future.
But How Do You Actually Have These Discussions?
Start working toward an agreement at least six months before the wedding to allow adequate time to prepare. If you wait too long, one or both of you may feel pressured and unhappy with the process.
Take care when bringing up the topic with your fiancé. A prenuptial agreement should not be viewed as a threat, retaliation, or something you are trying to trick your partner into signing. So, bringing it up right after an argument or when you’re running out the door is not a good idea.
Suggest using collaboratively trained lawyers for each of you or working with a neutral mediator to facilitate discussions. These conversations can be awkward, so working with experienced non-adversarial professionals during the process not only protects everyone’s interests but also helps keep things moving forward toward a positive resolution.
A Prenuptial Agreement is a Legal Contract
You need to understand that a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract, and that means you should give proper respect to the process of creation and the resulting document. If you download a generic form from the internet, you are likely to end up with a document that is not enforceable and protects neither of you.
For more information about the benefits of prenups and the process of developing an agreement, contact Vacca Family Law Group. We would be happy to help you create a prenuptial agreement that reflects the love you have for your fiancé’ and the life you plan to create together.