Love & Money: How to Bring up a Prenup

Although not pleasant, prenuptial agreements are necessary for some. Here's how to (gently) address the touchy subject

It's a touchy subject (Source: Thinkstock)

When love is in the air, the topic of prenuptial agreements is far from comfortable. Some view them as selfish and unromantic, while others see them as a necessary evil. Consequently, this may cause you to delay bringing up the prenup because you don’t want your future spouse to have a poor view of you or your intentions.

Still, if you have assets that need to be protected in the event that happily ever after isn’t that long after all, it’s a talk that needs to happen. Here are a few tips on making the conversation flow a little easier.

BE DIRECT. Don’t beat around the bush. Say what you want and ask your future spouse if he or she is willing to sign a prenuptial agreement. It’s best to put your cards on the table and be honest.

CONSIDER TIMING. Ideally, you should bring up the topic before you get engaged. When you do have the talk, avoid times when one or both of you is tired, distracted or in the  midst of a debate. Clear minds are key.

DISCUSS WHY IT’S IMPORTANT. The first question from your future spouse is likely to be “why?” Explain that it’s necessary for you to protect certain assets. For example, you might have an inheritance that’s coming to you, you have family members that need to be cared for, or you own a business.

EXPLAIN ITS PURPOSE. Your future spouse may have heard of a prenuptial agreement, but may not  understand all the details or its purpose. For example, a prenuptial agreement does more than just protect a spouse’s assets. It can also be set up to make sure that children from a previous marriage receive their rightful inheritance. In addition, your loved one may be interested to know that a prenuptial agreement may also be used to limit your liability for each other’s debts.

ADDRESS ANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS. Your future spouse might think that you want a prenuptial agreement because you don’t truly love or trust him or her. If this isn’t the case, make that clear.

GO WITH YOUR GUT. What is your primary reason for getting a prenuptial agreement? Have you seen behavior in your future spouse that leads you to believe he or she may only be marrying for money? If so, you might want to re-evaluate your relationship. Take time for reflection. After reflecting, you may find that you don’t need to have this conversation after all. Or maybe, it’s more important than ever.

Sheiresa Ngo is the multimedia content producer for consumer affairs at Black Enterprise.

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