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Can I Negotiate a Prenup Without Hurting My Relationship?

The thought of asking your fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement can send worried chills up your spine. If life imitates art or vice versa, there’s never been a happy prenuptial negotiation in a television drama. For some reason, prenuptial agreements have gained a bad reputation over the years, so when couples begin discussing the topic, the conversation immediately turns negative. In prenuptial discussions, one party is typically the initiator, and the other is the compliant. The initiator party is the one requesting the prenuptial agreement, and the compliant is the spouse being asked to agree to the prenuptial agreement. The power differential between the initiator and compliant can set up a toxic dynamic that can be harmful to a new marriage. While the prenuptial agreement may be sought for a good reason, to the compliant party, it can feel like your partner doesn’t trust you or isn’t as committed to the relationship as you are to it. The compliant party may feel their connection to their fiancé dampen.

4 Ways to Protect Your Relationship During Prenup Negotiations

Many compliant fiancés have said the prenuptial agreement negotiation process left them feeling that their soon-to-be initiator spouse was cold and callous. Negotiating a prenuptial agreement is about money and property, which can become harsh and contentious. Your engagement was likely one of the best days of your life. Weddings are happy occasions characterized by romance and familial joy. There’s nothing happy or romantic about planning a divorce before you’re even married. The initiating party often feels that once the prenuptial agreement is over, the couple will be able to put everything behind them and forget it ever happened. However, that is not often the case, and many compliant spouses find they harbor some resentment for being put into the position of needing to go through the process.

Avoid Bargaining Imbalances

When both parties arrive at the bargaining table to negotiate a prenuptial agreement, it’s crucial that both intended spouses have their own legal representation, or the resulting prenuptial agreement could be seen as coercive. Another example of a negotiating imbalance would be if the initiating fiancé had more money, influence, and access than their compliant partner. The compliant fiancé could feel too intimidated to ask questions or propose changes to the contract.

Leave Time Negotiate

When the prenuptial agreement negotiation is too close to the wedding date or after invitations have been sent to family and friends, the process can be seen as unfair and intimidating. If the compliant party felt pressured to agree to the prenuptial agreement terms, they could have a solid case to have the document overturned. Sometimes, the power imbalance is less obvious but still just as corrosive to your relationship. If the initiating partner is less financially savvy or timid in business matters, they can feel intimated or confused about the terms of the agreement.

Create a Financial Plan First

Working on a prenuptial agreement before you’ve even discussed your hopes and financial plans for your marriage may leave the compliant fiancé feeling like a legal problem to be solved. By creating a financial plan for your life as a married couple first, you and your intended can make plans and set goals for your future together. Many marriages fail because of money issues, so a financial plan will help strengthen your marriage. Still, it can also soften the sting of a prenuptial agreement because your future spouse knows they are an important part of your financial plans as a married couple. You should complete your financial plan well in advance of your prenuptial agreement. They are separate documents and should be treated as such.

Use Mediation Services

Negotiating a prenuptial agreement can place a strain on a new marriage because it’s an extremely sensitive issue. Issues of love, money, and divorce can be uncomfortable topics for many couples to discuss openly and honestly. A mediator can provide guidance and help navigate the process through thorny issues and potential pitfalls. An experienced mediator can also help a couple both feel heard and in control of the outcome of the prenuptial negotiations.

Four Decades of Experience Helping Couples

A prenuptial agreement has a bad reputation and can hurt your relationship if you aren’t thoughtful and considerate of your future spouse. Our Charlotte prenuptial agreement attorneys can work with you and your fiancé to negotiate your prenuptial agreement and help you make smart choices to protect your assets and relationship. The attorneys at Krusch Law, PLLC, can schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and determine how we can best help you achieve your goals. Call today at (704) 343-8811 to schedule an appointment.