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How to talk about a prenuptial agreement

Marriage is, of course, about love, friendship, and companionship. But it is also about finances. When couples decide to tie the knot, they oftentimes intertwine their assets and liabilities, which can significantly complicate matters should the relationship sour. Property division and alimony disputes can leave couples in bitter fights that can go from their home to the negotiating table and into court.

Of course, these heated arguments can be avoided by entering into a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can specify how certain divorce legal issues will be handled in the event that marriage dissolution occurs. As beneficial as it may be, it can certainly be challenging to bring up the topic of such an agreement, especially before marriage. Many find the topic uncomfortable. Yet, there are certain steps that can be taken to help ease into the discussion and engage one's partner in planning for their financial future.

First, individuals should start the conversation early so that there is plenty of time for the idea to germinate. The conversation should also be couched in terms of what each individual wants their financial future to look like. After all, a prenuptial contract is essentially a contract that allows an individual to control the future.

With that in mind, the second thing that can make a prenuptial agreement more easily acceptable is working with one's partner to create the terms of the agreement. Just shoving an already drafted agreement in front of a partner's face is sure to turn them off to the idea. Third, couples need to be honest about what they want and really listen to each other. This is the only way to get an agreement that all parties feel is fair. Lastly, the agreement should leave room for change, as life often does.

A prenuptial agreement can put financial fears to rest before marriage occurs. However, ensuring that it is created in a way that is legally sufficient and in conformity with the parties' wishes is essential. So, too, is developing strong legal arguments when a prenuptial agreement is drawn into question. Therefore, those who need assistance with a prenuptial agreement and/or related issues should consider discussing the matter with a qualified attorney.

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