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Tackling the tricky topic of a prenuptial agreement

Broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement is seldom easy. You are probably already imagining the emotional response you may get from your intended, and you may even fear your request for a prenuptial agreement may jeopardize your relationship and cause your beloved to reconsider the whole idea of marrying you.

The way you approach the subject of signing a prenuptial agreement may make a difference in the way your intended receives it. While you certainly want to be straightforward and honest about your request, you also don't want to dive right in with a harsh demand for a prenup. When, where and how you start the conversation can be important to its outcome.

When and where

Choosing the perfect moment for a discussion about a prenuptial agreement may be just as crucial as choosing the time and place to propose marriage. This is not the kind of conversation you can undertake without careful thought, so you may want to resist the urge to bring the topic up in a room full of family or friends. This may end with onlookers choosing sides and stirring up a debate that could end badly.

Instead, choose a private time when both of you are at rest and calm, perhaps when you are already making plans for your financial future. If you are in the middle of an argument or disagreement about your future, that may not be the best moment to ask for a prenuptial agreement.

How and why

The benefits of a prenuptial agreement are limitless and not restricted to protecting yourself in case of a divorce. In light of this, you may be able to impress upon your partner how important this is to you if you do the following:

  • Remind your intended that a prenup will benefit both of you.
  • Be honest about how your past experiences (your parents' divorce, your friends' relationships) have affected you.
  • Talk about your expectations and hopes for the future.
  • Express your desire to use the prenup as protection for your partner's interests as well as your own.
  • Reassure your intended that asking for a prenup doesn't mean you are expecting the marriage to end.

In fact, many Virginia couples who have a prenuptial agreement find that the process allowed them to communicate more openly about difficult topics, building a framework for their future.

Reflect and repeat

Your beloved may not fully understand or appreciate your desire for a prenuptial agreement, so it is important to listen carefully to his or her arguments and fears. Showing negative emotion may send the wrong message, so financial advisors recommend refraining from anger or impatience during the discussion. At the end of the conversation, you may not have won over your intended. Nevertheless, someone has planted the seed, and you may have more success if you return to the subject at another appropriate time.

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