I’ll let you in on a secret: not everyone needs a prenup.

However, every couple should talk about one.

Let me explain.

Talking About a Prenup Vs. Getting a Prenup

Talking about getting a prenup and getting one are two different things.

Talking about a prenup opens the door for crucial discussions before you get married. Essentially, you’re having important conversations around financial planning and marriage goals.

Getting a prenup involves crafting and signing a mutually beneficial legal agreement with the help of an experienced prenup attorney. You’ll seal the deal typically after you’ve had the prenup talk.

I understand why you might be hesitant even to broach the prenup subject. Historically, prenups have been branded as an infamous edge for the wealthy. And some people feel uncomfortable bringing up prenups during the engagement.

Myths aside, there’s incredible power in having the prenup talk; it can inform and empower you and your spouse — even if you don’t get a legal prenuptial agreement.

Let’s look at how having the prenup talk is vital before getting married — whether you actually sign a prenup or not.

Prenup Talks Build Trust

Two hands representing trust from prenup talks

Talking about your finances during engagement helps you and your partner get a clear picture of each other’s financial goals and marital positioning.

You get to learn if your partner is a saver or spender, whether they’re bringing in massive debt or on a path to receiving a large inheritance. The more you talk about money, the more you build trust.

Additionally, prenup discussions encourage dialogues around family, traditions, children, and worst-case scenarios like divorce or death. It might seem like a downer, but conversing through tough topics develops trust and openness before committing to marriage.

Talking Money Image

BEFORE getting married, what conversations about MONEY should you have with your partner?

Use this guide to discuss budgets, assets, debts, goals, joints bank accounts and more.

Get the guide

You may find that, through these talks, the default marital laws of your state may not be the right fit for your marriage, and so, you want to take the opportunity to draft your own laws through a prenup.

On the other hand, you may be fine with your state laws and therefore don’t necessarily need a prenup. In order to learn about your state’s marital laws, make sure you consult with a prenup attorney first.

A solid marriage is built on the foundation of trust and communication. Having tough conversations upfront can avoid surprises about your partner’s financial habits or ideology down the line. Have these deep talks to set the stage for a trustworthy and successful union.

Prenup Talks Clarify Financial Planning & Goals

Arrows representing financial goals from prenup talks

Planning your marital finances with your partner is an invaluable step in financial planning as a unit. Consider how the following topics could impact your marital finances:

  • Do you plan to buy a house?
  • Do you want to start a business?
  • What do your respective monthly incomes and expenses look like?
  • Will one person be in charge of managing your finances?

Answering these questions may reveal new information you hadn’t considered about your relationship.

You may find out that your partner is in deep debt — affecting your decision about marrying into a sticky financial situation. Conversely, if money on both sides looks solid and you’re aligned on future spending plans, you’re on the right path toward a successful marriage.

You may go into the discussion thinking nothing of your partner’s finances, only to discover red flags about their spending habits. On the other hand, you might find they are exceptionally organized and responsible.

No matter the scenario, you won’t make these discoveries if you don’t have a thorough discussion about money.

Prenups Talks Establish Roles & Expectations

Man in front of multiple doors

The conversations associated with prenups may also uncover expectations around the marriage. For example:

  • Do you want children, and if so, will one of you be the primary caretaker?
  • Do you both plan to work full-time jobs?
  • Where do you want to settle down or even want to settle down?
  • When do you plan to retire? What are your post-retirement goals?

These are just a few questions to kickstart the discussion about the big-picture goals for your marriage. The better you can understand your expectations of each other, the less likely you’ll be surprised or disappointed as your marriage progresses.

Again, it’s all about gaining clarity.

How to Have Prenup Talks (2 Essential Tools)

Prenup talks aren’t easy. To streamline the process, I’ve written two guides developed from over a decade of experience with marriage hopefuls.

To help guide you through these crucial discussions, you can utilize these two tools:

  • Talking Money: A Conversation Guide for Couples: This definitive guide to discussing finances contains questions to ask, uncovering each other’s relationship to money, how finances play a role in your lives together, and how each of you defines value.
  • Prenuptial Agreement Planner: Utilize this Planner to thoroughly navigate financial topics concerning your present cash, debts, credit, and budgeting. You’ll gain a profound understanding of the significance of money in your life, insights into organizing your finances, and foundational steps to shape your shared financial journey.

Final Thoughts: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Woman confused

The value of discussing a prenup is twofold. First, it sets the stage for vital premarital discussions about finances and expectations. Second, you won’t know if you want a prenup unless you learn what state laws will govern your marriage, and talk to your partner about whether or not those laws are right for both of you.

So while talking about getting a prenup doesn’t mean you need to get one signed, the conversations alone bring trust, clarity, and alignment to your marriage.

If you are indeed looking to get an agreement once you’ve had the prenup talks, book a consultation with me — I pride myself on setting couples up for a happy and successful marriage.

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