Once You Pop the Question, How Do You Spring the Prenup?

Asking your fiance for a prenup doesn’t have to spoil the joy of your engagement. Personal finance experts agree that prenuptial agreements are an effective way for couples to make financial plans for their future. More than one-third of all couples say they would like to have a prenuptial agreement, according to a recent survey. A prenuptial agreement can address important topics like spending, credit card debt, and estate planning, as well as protecting family businesses and premarital assets, providing for children’s needs, and avoiding costly, protracted litigation in the event of a divorce. These three tips might make the conversation easier to have:

Allow enough time.

First, give your betrothed plenty of time to think about it. No one likes to be rushed. You know how crazy it can be to make wedding arrangements, so don’t let the prenup be the last thing on the list. A good rule of thumb would be three to six months before the wedding.

Create a context.

Next, help your fiance to understand why you need a prenup and how it fits into the “big picture.” You might want to present the prenup along with wills, health care powers of attorney, living wills, insurance policies, and other estate planning documents. The prenup is just one of several documents that will establish the financial foundation of the marriage.

Get independent legal counsel.

Finally, encourage your fiance to hire independent legal counsel. You might even offer to pay the bill. This step will allow your fiance to ask questions that might be uncomfortable for you or your lawyer to answer, and it may ensure that the agreement will be enforceable.

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