The Prenuptial Agreement Conversation
The Prenuptial Agreement Conversation: Four Dos and Don’ts to Avoid an Argument
Nobody wants to talk about establishing a prenuptial agreement, and yet everyone wants security in their marriage. Ironically, the two have a lot in common, and yet common perception positions them more as opposites. A prenup comes with connotations of distrust and instability, but this need not be the case if the subject is approached as a matter of prudent care instead of self-protection. To start the conversation without sparking conflict, it is worth looking to communication experts and thinking about how to present your thoughts in a way that reads as supportive and collaborative instead of as threatening.
Four Tips from the Experts on Talking Through Tricky Subjects
1. Invite Conversation
Prenuptial agreements are scary because they force a person to contemplate the end of their marriage. Soften this blow (and create space for understanding) by inviting your partner to talk, instead of forcing the subject upon them. Asking, “Have you ever thought about getting a prenuptial agreement? Do you think it’s something we could talk about?” goes a lot further than stating, “I think we need a prenuptial agreement.” When your partner feels like you are tackling the issue together, the natural insecurity provoked by the topic is lessened.
2. Be Vulnerable
You are thinking about a prenup because some part of you worries about being protected from divorce. When you share this as a fear which reflects your personal need for security instead of anything related to your relationship, you disarm any concerns your partner may feel and, by sharing vulnerability, provide an opportunity to grow closer. A good technique for ensuring your fear is well-received is to focus on using “I” statements such as, “I worry about losing my financial independence,” instead of other formulations that may feel accusatory.
Talking about getting a prenuptial agreement will be as hard and scary for your partner as it is for you. Inevitably, they will also have concerns to address, and it is crucial that you hold space in your conversation to hear them. Show your partner you are making a genuine effort to understand their point of view by reflecting back what you hear and asking thoughtful questions about whatever it is they have to say.
4. Don’t Go It Alone
Most people know that a prenuptial agreement protects their assets in the case of divorce, but few have any deeper knowledge about the subject. An experienced family lawyer can help you better understand both why a prenup is so important (especially for individuals bringing significant assets to a marriage) and what exactly goes into preparing one. Moreover, they can draw upon their ample experience to give you ideas about how to best talk through the need. Lastly, relying on professional help gives you the peace of mind of knowing your agreement has been properly prepared and will stand up in court.
To speak with the experienced family lawyers at Lazor Rantas, PC about arranging a prenuptial agreement—or about any other topic related to divorce or family law—do not hesitate to call our office either by calling 973-457-8844 or using the contact form on our website.