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How to Bring Up the Subject of a Prenuptial Agreement


As a law firm, we often tell people they need a prenuptial agreement in Virginia. However, many people are afraid to talk to their fiancé about a prenup, or are unsure about how to bring the topic up in the first place. It can be an extremely difficult and uncomfortable conversation in many cases, but it’s an important one to have. Here are some tips to consider when contemplating how to discuss whether you will have a prenuptial agreement or not.

Have the Talk Early On

Don’t wait until weeks before the wedding, when everything is already booked and moving forward, to bring up a prenuptial agreement. You can even bring it up during dating as a way to gauge your partner’s reaction and make it easier down the line when you are engaged.

Pick the Right Time

If your partner is going through a difficult time or had a stressful day at work, it’s probably not the best time to bring up the topic. Driving to see the future in-laws? Probably not the best time either. Pick a time that is convenient for both of you and you can give the conversation the attention it deserves.

Focus on the Positives

A prenuptial agreement is often looked at negatively, but there are multiple upsides to drafting one. One of these is the ability for you both to choose how your finances and assets are handled, rather than the court. In the event something does happen, a prenuptial agreement gives you the ability to decide how you want to divide assets and liabilities.

Use Student Loans as a Way to Segue into the Discussion

If you are fresh out of college and are looking to get married, one or both of you may be saddled with a ridiculous amount of student loans. This is a great way to bring up the discussion, as you can each be protected from being responsible for the other’s loans.

Meet with an Estate Planner

If one partner earns significantly more than the other or has a lot of assets coming into the marriage, it might help the other partner to feel more secure if you meet with your Virginia estate planning attorney to reassure your partner they will be well-taken care if something should happen to you.

Try Not to Get Defensive or Angry

This is a hard one, but it’s important that both partners are not on the defensive, or the conversation is likely to end on a negative note. Don’t make the other person feel like they are a lesser person if they aren’t bringing as much to the marriage, and don’t act like your assets or income is more important. If you get angry during the conversation, it’s not likely to end well either. It’s important that both sides have a clear head when discussing important topics like finances.

Have the Conversation During Premarital Counseling

Couples who are religious are likely to have premarital counseling as part of the requirement to be married in the church. If you have the discussion during one of your sessions, it may be less adversarial.

Retaining a Virginia Family Law Attorney

When you’re ready to draft a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to speak with a Virginia family law attorney. Contact the team at Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982 and speak with one of our skilled prenuptial agreement attorneys.

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Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC maintains an office in Loudoun County in the Town of Leesburg. We welcome inquiries from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

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