You’re engaged and have never been happier. You can’t believe it’s true! The date is set, the venue selected. Guest list and menus selections are underway. A few people (maybe your parents?) have mentioned a prenup, and let’s face it, you’ve thought about it a little on your own. But you’re not sure if or when or how to bring it up with your partner. Will they think all you care about is money? Will the conversation be awkward and tense? Will it kill the romance?

All good questions but talking about a prenup, also called a prenuptial or premarital agreement, can actually strengthen your relationship, and increase the likelihood of a successful marriage. In fact, a couple that collaborates to create a prenuptial agreement is less likely to get divorced. Why is that?

prenups and romance

Two of the things that often cause problems in a marriage and lead to divorce are poor communication and finances. To avoid those pitfalls, it is important for couples to learn how to talk about hard subjects and to have a shared understanding about how to handle money during the marriage,  Talking about what would go into a premarital  agreement presents the opportunity to work on both those issues at an optimum time – when you’re very happy and looking to build a strong future together.

Being willing to open the subject and have a conversation about a prenup communicates to your partner that you trust them, and that you are willing to tackle the hard stuff in order to lay down a strong foundation for your marriage and your future. That’s romance in a whole new light.

The conversation you’ll have about your prenup won’t just be about laws and dollars and cents. It could lead to sharing more deeply about family history and childhood experiences around money, and how that has shaped your relationships to money as adults. It will encourage each of you to think about what money means to you, for example how important is it to accumulate wealth? Do you prefer to use money to buy experiences, or to buy things?  Although you may already think you know which of you is a spender or a saver, have you talked about how you are going to navigate any differences that come up? Whether you end up feeling you need a prenuptial agreement or not, the process of discussing it will result in each of you having a deeper understanding and appreciation of the other’s relationship to money. It can serve to eliminate future surprises and dispel assumptions. And that can only result in a stronger marriage.

Working with an experienced Mediator or developing your prenup using Collaborative Practice will assure that the discussions are structured to strengthen your relationship. You’ll learn about the law, you’ll explore your options, and together you’ll decide what goes into it. And once its done, you can check it off your list and continue with the party planning.

As you consider whether to raise the question of a  prenup with your spouse to be, it is important to recognize that if you don’t have one, California has a default prenuptial agreement that goes into effect as soon as you get married.  It is called the California Family Code, and it is based on community property law. And if you don’t know exactly what that all means, you might want to learn more. Click here to set up a free 20-minute phone consultation.