Getting engaged is thrilling, but it can also be very frightening. After all, many marriages end in heartbreak rather than in death. No matter how optimistic someone is about their romantic relationship, they may still want the practical protection afforded by a prenuptial agreement before they permanently bind themselves to someone else.
Although prenuptial agreements have certainly become more common in recent years than in decades past, they can still be somewhat controversial. How does someone bring up a prenuptial agreement with their fiancé without damaging their relationship?
1. Discuss statistical risks
For many people on the fence about a prenuptial agreement, the cold hard statistics about modern divorce can be enough to convince them that a prenuptial agreement is a worthwhile investment. More than one in five modern marriages typically end in divorce, and in some cases, the risk is higher. The statistical likelihood of a divorce can be enough reason to have a planning place in case one happens.
2. Explore cost differences
Should a divorce occur, the people involved often work against their own best interests because their emotions take control of the situation. Couples that fight over divorces often spend multiple times as much on the process as those who settle and file uncontested divorces. The best chance couples have for minimizing their embarrassment and expenses in the event of a divorce involves having a viable marital agreement on record.
3. Clarify the protections available
The person suggesting a prenuptial agreement may already have an idea of what they want to protect. Perhaps they worry about their retirement savings or the business that they inherited from their parents. Identifying factors that may be valuable to a fiancé, such as a desire to protect some of their property as separate, can help one fiancé propose a prenuptial agreement to the other by showing what benefits they can derive from the process.
Many couples actually have stronger and healthier marriages after negotiating prenuptial agreements because they start the marriage out already in agreement about priorities. Taking the initiative to talk about a prenuptial agreement with each other could help the members of a couple start out their marriage with the best protections possible and clear expectations and understanding concerning the future.