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Tips for requesting a prenuptial agreement

Probably the last thing soon-to-be married couples want to think about is divorce. But for many, it is necessary to plan ahead. The unfortunate reality is that, on average, about half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. This is not to say there is a 50 percent chance that any given marriage will end in divorce — every situation is unique — but it is prudent to consider such matters. For those couples who want to protect property and financial assets before getting married, a prenuptial agreement can be helpful.

Many Arkansas residents are probably open to the idea of a prenuptial agreement, but are unclear on how to ask for one without stirring up conflicting emotions, possibly even driving a wedge between them and their spouses. Though it forces couples to talk about divorce — which can be uncomfortable — there are ways to increase the chances of a smoother discussion about prenuptial agreements.

One tip worth considering is that it is important to consider requesting a prenuptial agreement soon in the engagement. Waiting too long can make it seem as though the other spouse is being ambushed and that it is not a collaborative process. Also, offering a clear explanation can help the spouse understand why a prenuptial agreement is a prudent choice and what the terms are. This then opens up the possibility for both spouses to negotiate the terms and come to an agreement that conforms to both spouses’ marital goals.

Lastly, it is often prudent to consider seeking legal advice in preparing a prenuptial agreement. Each spouse can be individually represented and legal consultation can help both understand the terms of a prenuptial agreement, as well as how to structure it in order to clearly establish the terms and protect each spouse’s interests.

Source: Huffington Post, “How to Request a Pre-Nup and Still Get Married,” Daniel Clement, Jan. 24, 2014

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