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How to approach the daunting prenup conversation

While the source article for this blog post is for financial advisors -- hey, even the advisors need some advice every now and then -- it raises an important point about prenuptial agreements. Prenups have been a common theme on this blog, and for good reason. They are vital contracts that are far more socially-acceptable than they were 30 years ago.

But even if prenuptial agreements were frowned upon, they would serve an important function for those who were brave enough to sign them. For those who do want a prenup, the very first step you need to take is the most obvious one: you need to talk to your spouse.

That can be an intimidating and frightening prospect. So how do you get over that fear and have a free-flowing, collaborative discussion about an important aspect of your marriage? You need to approach the conversation delicately. Instead of using loaded language -- "I have a lot of money, but I don’t think you should get all of it in case of divorce" -- use a palatable and true approach. Tell your spouse that a financial advisor or your attorney suggested that you talk about a prenuptial agreement.

Once you are having the conversation, remember to be open to your spouse's ideas and comments. Don't be dismissive, and try to negotiate fairly on every point that you and your spouse bring to the table.

One of the positive outcomes of a prenup discussion is that the couple may talk and learn about a variety of important issues that are inherent to their marriage, and possibly divorce. Without that prenup talk, they may never discuss such matters.

Source: Financial Planning, "Advisors: Prenup Pitfalls to Avoid," Donald Jay Korn, March 3, 2014

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