Pre-Nuptial agreements can be a tricky topic to talk to, especially when you are in love and planning your future together. Amanda Owens, from Family Team at Steeles Law gives some advice on how to have possibly one of the most awkward and tricky conversations.
Q: How do I talk to my partner about pre-nuptial agreements?
My partner of five years has recently asked me to marry him. I was speaking to some friends about the forthcoming marriage; one of them told me about pre-nuptial agreements and encouraged me to look into them. After doing a lot of research, I would like to have a pre-nup in place but I am worried how my fiancé will react. I see it that our marriage will last, so it should not matter if we have signed one; it is unlikely that it will ever come into effect. Whereas, I think he may feel that we do not need one and that I do not trust him, or expect the marriage to last. I just want us both to be protected but how do I go about broaching the subject with him?
It’s not as unusual as you think
Firstly, there is nothing wrong with wanting a pre-nuptial agreement. They are becoming increasingly popular for couples in the UK; they can ensure safety and security for the future, as you mentioned and get your assets in order, potentially saving time and money. It can be helpful to think of a pre-nup as an insurance policy, rather like you might insure a home or a wedding. It may be a little more common these days due to people getting married later, when their careers and bank accounts are already well established but they can be initiated for a variety of reasons.
Explain your reasons and sensitive
Therefore, when speaking to your fiancé about pre-nuptial agreements, ensure that you know your personal reasons and are prepared to explain why you think it is beneficial to undertake. When first approaching the subject, be sensitive towards your partner, for example, do not start the conversation with “I want a pre-nup…” A suggestion would be to focus on the separate elements of the agreement, to ensure that everything is in order and to make the focus less on the document itself. In addition, each element could be spoken about over time to be less overwhelming, for example, talking about division of property first. During this process, frequently reassure your fiancé that you want a pre-nuptial agreement to protect his financial independence and property, as well as your own.
Listen and then talk again
Another key consideration, when approaching this subject, is to ensure that you listen to your partner. How does he think and feel? Ask each other questions to gain a better understanding about what you both want to do. Do not get upset or angry, as that will not help the conversation. If need be, be prepared to have a second conversation, giving your fiancé time to do his own research on the matter.
Be honest and be sensible
Also be honest with your partner; you should be sensitive but you should not shy away from the reasons that you are considering a pre-nuptial agreement, or it may cause unhappiness for you both in the long term. Once you explain your reasoning, your partner may be thinking the same as you but timing is crucial. Ensure that you mention it when you are both in the right frame of mind and situation and do it sooner rather than later. For example, if you are talking about your finances, that may be an appropriate opportunity to bring the subject up.
For further advice on obtaining a pre-nuptial agreement, please contact Amanda Owens on 01603 598000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.