Tips for Discussing Prenuptial Agreements

We completely understand that starting out a marriage by having a talk about a prenuptial agreement can be exceedingly awkward, at the very least. However, as we tell all of our clients in New York, your prenuptial agreement conversation is an opportunity, an opportunity to foster openness and trust, and learn about how you want to manage your finances during your marriage. We all purchase goods and services that we hope to never eventually need, but it does not stop us from buying them. Insurance of all kinds, a policy on your wedding rings even, vacation insurance when you go on that cruise for your honeymoon, a generator to power your home in the event of a power outage. There are circumstances outside of our control. When you take the emotion out of it, and allow yourself to think logically, you will see it as a much needed agreement. And yet, even for the most legally conscious couple, actually having the dialogue itself can be stressful, and something that is avoided until the last minute.

It doesn’t have to be a stressful discussion. Here are some ways you can have the talk about your prenuptial agreement, and its terms and conditions,  without the presence of the New York prenup lawyer, without it putting unnecessary strain on your relationship during an exciting time in your lives.

  1. Instead of a list you complete separately, or where one spouse acts as questioner, interrogating and writing answers, you can sit casually in a comfortable environment and just have a normal conversation. One person may have more money, and thus the lesser earning spouse may feel the wealthier one leverages the control in certain ways, but this need not be- and usually isn’t- the case at all. It is a time to talk about what you value. At first, money doesn’t need to specifically come into the conversation. Perhaps you are discussing how you feel about splitting assets and real estate. Maybe you feel very strongly about the property you own in Westchester County, however you do not feel very attached to another in Brooklyn, and that can be a starting off point for dialogue. Getting the conversation rolling can be the hardest part, but once you are in the moment, remind yourself- this is your partner, your ‘person’, and you’re about to vow for better or worse, so working through these terms is a great learning experience for the relationship overall.
  2. Disclose first. Tell your partner, here is my debt, my student loans, I wrote out a list of each credit card, and every account on which I pay, and what my balances are. Sharing the information upfront in an itemized way takes away the feeling that you have something to hide, or be ashamed of. Remember, this is a team effort.
  3. Be honest with yourself too. Think about your spending habits. Maybe you save compulsively and yet you’re nervous because your soon to be spouse is a chronic card swiper. Tell the other how it makes you feel, and explain why you are the way you are. People usually remark that they learn not only about their partner, but about themselves, during this process. During the conversation, remember that it is your differences that complement each other- after all, you wouldn’t want to marry your twin. There is good in everything, an opportunity lies within each set of circumstances.
  4. Talk about family, and your values. Maybe you want children right away, or you already have children. How will this affect your career, and what types of changes are you each willing to make, to accommodate a new family lifestyle?
  5. Stay calm, and rational. If the conversation does get a little emotional, take a little break. You don’t need to make the conversation last for a week, but you also don’t have to rush. No one is hurrying you to complete the document immediately. Maybe you each step away from the table and reflect on things, and come back together with clearer minds after a breather. Try to be understanding, this is a wonderful growth experience for a new couple.

New York Prenup looks forward to helping you create your personalized prenuptial agreement. Our  attorneys have specialized in prenuptial agreements for many years and we are experts in New York prenuptial agreement law. Visit us at www.nycprenup.com