couple considering prenuptial agreement
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By Dorit Goikhman
Founding Attorney

Marriage may be about love and commitment, but marriage is also an economic arrangement. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, are becoming more common to deal with the financial entanglement of marriage.  

Prenuptial agreements help couples determine how they want to distribute assets and debts after death or divorce. Thus, prenups have become less of a taboo topic because individuals are marrying later in life and entering into marriage with assets.

You may want to consider having a prenup if you:

  • Own real estate property or other assets
  • Expect to receive an inheritance
  • Own a business
  • Have adult children from a previous relationship
  • Will be a stay-at-home parent
  • Experienced a divorce previously

3 Tips for Bringing Up the Subject of a Prenuptial Agreement Before Marriage

Although they are becoming more common, you still want to approach the discussion of a prenup with your partner carefully. Follow these three tips for discussing the prenup:

  1. Be sensitive to the timing and approach to the topic when you propose a prenuptial agreement.
  2. Focus on the practical benefits of a prenup and that a prenup is mutually beneficial.
  3. Seek assistance from a professional attorney for help with negotiating and drafting the prenup.

1. Use Sensitivity in Deciding on the Timing and Approach for the Conversation about a Prenup

When you approach the subject of a prenuptial agreement, ensure you approach the topic with sensitivity to the topic and at an appropriate time. Be prepared for a conversation that may feel uncomfortable or awkward. However, know that having a conversation about a prenuptial agreement can facilitate a discussion about your financial goals together as a couple. Think of this as a chance to work collaboratively with your future partner to reach an agreement with which you both are comfortable and happy.

Choose a time when you can calmly discuss the prenuptial agreement. And remember to bring up the topic of a prenuptial agreement well before your wedding, possibly while you are dating. Lastly, avoid bringing up a prenuptial agreement during an argument.

2. Focus on How the Prenuptial Agreement is Practical and Mutually Beneficial

The prenuptial agreement should protect both partners in case of death or divorce. Focus on how a prenuptial agreement will benefit your partner when discussing a prenup. 

If you have debts, note how the agreement can shield your partner so your partner does not become responsible for those debts. The prenuptial agreement can also protect the spouse who would be earning less or staying home with children during the marriage.

If your partner has a business or adult children, focus on how a prenuptial agreement can protect other people outside the marriage, such as business partners or children from a previous relationship. 

Has your family pushed for a prenuptial agreement? Note how having the prenuptial agreement will resolve those concerns before the marriage.

3. Seek Professional Assistance from an Attorney in Negotiating Your Prenuptial Agreement

To ensure the prenuptial agreement is legal and fair, and addresses both partners’ concerns, seek professional assistance with discussing the circumstances and the drafting of the agreement. An experienced attorney can assist you in negotiating a reasonable and enforceable agreement with your partners. Working with an attorney can also help preserve and reinforce the relationship between your partner and you before marriage, as both parties can consider the financial implications of the marriage and partnership. 

Dori L. Goikhman  is a licensed family law attorney and trained mediator helping high-net-worth individuals in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. She can help you and your partner negotiate a prenuptial agreement. Contact Dori Goikhman today for assistance with your prenuptial agreement.

About the Author
Dorit L. Goikhman is a licensed attorney, with years of experience representing clients throughout Central California in business, real estate, and family matters. After witnessing numerous clients spend fortunes and waste years of their lives in litigation, Dorit became interested in mediation and all that it has to offer. Dorit is committed in helping parties work together to obtain a mutually acceptable solution to their disputes at a fair price. Her approach is to keep things simple, confidential, and efficient with the goal of preserving the parties’ assets, reputations, and sanity. If you have any questions regarding this blog, you can contact Dorit here.