If you are getting married at a point in your life when you already have significant assets or children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can provide you with important protections in the event your marriage fails. However, the hardest part of getting a prenuptial agreement may be raising the subject with your partner in the first place. You can make the conversation easier if you are careful about how you approach it.
Tips for Talking About a Prenuptial Agreement
If you are not careful, your partner may view your request for a prenuptial agreement as a sign that you do not trust him or her, or that you expect the marriage to fail. In order to assuage these fears, here are some suggestions that can lead to a more positive discussion.
- Include your request in a larger conversation about finances. Marriage means that you and your spouse will share at least some financial assets and debts, so it is in the best interest of any couple to discuss finances openly before deciding to get married. As you start to learn more about each other’s financial needs and goals, you may find a good opportunity to raise the subject of a prenuptial agreement.
- Explain your reasoning. When you ask your partner about creating a prenuptial agreement, do your best to make it clear why it is so important to you. If your partner understands your desire to provide for your children or retain control over a business in which you have invested significant time and energy, he or she may be more open to supporting your needs.
- Be open to your partner’s needs and concerns. At the same time, make an effort to listen to and understand your partner’s concerns. You may need to reassure your partner of your love and commitment, but you should also be open to his or her requests for terms in the agreement that protect his or her own interests.
- Do not put it off. A request for a prenuptial agreement weeks before your marriage is likely to raise more red flags than a request as soon as possible after your engagement, or even before it. Giving your partner an opportunity to process your request is one of the best ways to ensure that it does not lead to conflict.
It may also help to let your partner know that in Illinois, a prenuptial agreement can be modified at any time as long as both partners agree. However, under no circumstances should you attempt to manipulate, coerce, or force your partner into signing a prenuptial agreement, as any of these behaviors can make the agreement invalid, not to mention the damage that such actions could cause in your relationship....