Your marriage plans were going great until your intended blindsided you by asking you to sign a prenuptial agreement. As upsetting as this may seem, it does not have to be a sign that your intended is having second thoughts or is not committed to the relationship. In fact, more couples are signing prenuptial agreements because, there is no denying, divorce rates are high. If your partner has children from another relationship, a business to protect or a family inheritance in his or her future, a prenuptial agreement is reasonable.
Perhaps you are confused about whether to sign. You might feel tempted to sign the document because you are confident your marriage will last or you don’t want to rock the boat. Be certain you know how serious this decision is. You will want to make sure that any agreement you sign is fair and balanced.
You have some control
Some divorce attorneys say that only a small percentage of those couples who sign prenups end up having to use them. This may be in part because the process of drafting a marital contract requires couples to address some delicate matters and might even teach them how to communicate more honestly. Many couples struggle to discuss spending, saving and borrowing, so starting off with a frank conversation may clear the air. However, there are some critical items to keep in mind if your partner hands you a prenup, including:
- Your partner should be willing to discuss the terms of the agreement, not just hand you a paper to sign.
- You will need time to negotiate, perhaps weeks or months, so it is best to begin the process well before the wedding date.
- Your prenup can also protect you from your spouse’s debt.
- Having your own attorney to counsel you and review the document for fairness and validity is advisable.
- Your prenup can include items about privacy, social media, pet custody, budgeting and others, but family court decides child custody and support matters.
Divorces can be messy, and your partner may be trying to find a way to minimize the mess if things go badly for you. Additionally, a prenup can also benefit you. If your partner is suggesting keeping certain assets off the table, you can negotiate for other considerations that will ensure your future is also secure, such as spousal support. Resolving these matters now, while your relationship is solid, is often more beneficial than dealing with them in the heat of a breakup.