What to Do If Your Significant Other Refuses to Sign a Prenup
You love your fiancé and have faith in your relationship. Yet, you know that if on the off-chance that anything goes wrong in the future, you’ll both save yourselves plenty of heartache and drama if you sign a prenup since the beginning.
But your initial forays into a conversation about a prenup with your significant other haven’t gone well: in fact, they’ve made it clear that they’d refuse to sign one. What can you do to change their mind without harming your relationship? Try these seven tips.
- Ask your fiancé to hear you out.
Communication is instrumental to any healthy relationship. Lovingly and gently remind your significant other that, as a committed couple, you need to be able to talk openly about the most challenging issues. Reassure them that you are confident that you can tackle this tough subject together.
- Set a date and place for the discussion.
Suggest a time to discuss the issue when you know that neither of you will be interrupted or hurried or under a high level of stress. Hold the discussion in a place where both of you feel relaxed. And above all, choose a date that’s long before the wedding and doesn’t coincide with any other emotional event.
- Prepare for the talk.
Don’t initiate this conversation cold. Spend some time thinking about why you want a prenup, and how you can kindly and lovingly communicate this to your partner. Since you know that your fiancé is likely to object, consider what you can do to reassure them of your love and faith in the relationship during the discussion.
- Clearly explain why you want a prenup
When it’s time to talk, describe your reasons for wanting a prenup with honesty and compassion, not aggression. Your partner might be much more understanding about the subject if you open up about how the nightmare of your parents’ messy divorce frightened you, or how your business–or their business–could be put in jeopardy if you divorce without a prenup. Emphasize that the prenup does not mean that you don’t trust them. It’s just a precaution for an event you hope will never occur, like fire insurance for your home.
- Explain how a prenup can benefit you both
Make sure that the conversation doesn’t only focus on how the agreement would benefit you. A prenup can offer substantial advantages to both of you, particularly if one of you has a significantly lower income than the other or expects to give up their career to raise children. If you’re the person with the higher income, explain to your fiancé how prenup could protect them in the unlikely event that the marriage ends, and assure that they’ll receive a fair and forward-looking financial settlement. Prenups can also help resolve potentially sensitive financial issues within the marriage by establishing who will be responsible for which costs during the marriage, such as payments on your home, children’s education, and so forth. Help your fiancé see how clauses such as these can work to their advantage.
- Work together on the prenup.
Emphasize to your fiancé that the prenup isn’t something you’d write on your own and then hand them to sign–the two of you would work out the prenup’s terms as a team. Urge them to speak to a family lawyer or mediator who can help identify your fiancé’s needs before the two of you finalize the terms. Make sure they understand that you’re not trying to railroad them into something that works against them: be honest and open (but kind) through the discussion and process.
- Listen to their concerns.
After you’ve explained your reasoning, carefully listen to your fiancé’s position without interruption. Don’t brush aside their concerns or feelings–they’re entitled to their perspective. However, consider what you can reasonably do to allay the specific worries that they mention. For example, if they say they’re worried that a prenup is a bad omen for the marriage, try to reassure them it doesn’t have to be. A prenup can also be seen as an act of love–a promise that you will always treat each other with care and respect, no matter what happens in the future.
You might want to download our guide “5 Things You Absolutely Should NOT Say When Asking for a Prenup”
We Can Help You
At Miller Law Group, we strive to ensure that your prenup provides you and your spouse with all the protections you seek. If you have any questions, reach out to Miller Law Group for a consultation today, or call us at (914) 256-8997.