Tips for discussing a marriage contract with your partner

People are often focused on the romantic details of married life that they may not consider the uncomfortable details of what may happen if the marriage ends. However, this type of conversation is crucial to have if you want to create a valid marriage contract.

A marriage contract, or premarital agreement, can be an important tool for parties who are getting married and have disparate levels of wealth. Unfortunately, discussing the contract can be difficult. As such, below are some tips that can make this situation easier for everyone.

  1. Give yourselves time to discuss it. Do not spring the discussion the week before the wedding when stress is especially high. Do not bring it up in the heat of an argument, or right before you head into a family gathering. Instead, begin the discussion in a place you both feel comfortable. Give your partner the opportunity to process the subject. Bring it up when there is ample time to have an open discussion.
  2. Be honest and straightforward. Avoid sugar coating the reasons for wanting a prenup or being vague about the terms. This is a legal document. It can determine resolutions for complex issues upon the end of a marriage. Focus on being honest and upfront. It can also be helpful to explain any experiences that illustrate why it is important to you have this agreement.
  3. Reassure your partner. While you may be discussing property division and spousal support, reassure your partner that having a prenuptial agreement does not mean you plan to divorce. Remind yourselves that having discussions about money and marital expectations now can prevent future confusion and conflict. Assure your partner of your commitment to him or her, and be sensitive to his or her concerns.
  4. Involve your lawyers. Whether you work with lawyers to create the document or to review an agreement you design, each party should have legal representation. This can confirm the document is valid and enforceable. It can also ensure both parties understand the terms of the agreement.

These suggestions can make it easier to approach this sensitive subject and create an effective, valid prenuptial agreement.

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