Let’s say your partner wants a prenup. Your first reaction might be surprise and feeling offended. Then perhaps you start to think on it and aren’t sure whether to sign a prenup contract or not. What to do? Here’s more on this relationships topic from guest post contributor Leila Dorari.
When your partner wants a prenup
Right about now is probably the happiest period of your life – somebody popped the question, there was maybe a ring, and now you’re planning the wedding. Maybe it’ll be a small affair with only a couple of closest friends and family members, or perhaps you prefer a full-scale wedding; it doesn’t matter – plan you must.
And in the middle of the preparations, your partner tells you that they want a prenup. It never came up in a conversation until now, and it sounds utterly unromantic. Worst of all, you think it implies that your partner doesn’t trust and doesn’t expect your marriage to last. So, what do you do? Sign a prenup or not?
What’s behind their proposal?
Well, first of all, hold your horses. Don’t automatically assume that your partner doesn’t believe in you and your marriage just because they want you to sign a prenup contract.
There could be many reasons for his or her request, so the first thing you need to do is find out what those are. Maybe they just think they should get one because everyone else does. It could be that their family is pressuring them into it. Maybe they simply find it a sensible thing to do. Perhaps they have much more money than you, or they have some accumulated debt that they don’t want to share.
It could be all sorts of things, but there is one thing that is certainly not the reason your partner wants a prenup, and that is a lack of love and belief in your future together. Remember, that person wants to marry you. If they don’t trust you or think your marriage will last, do you think they would bother getting married in the first place?
Take your time
Once you’ve found out why your partner wants a prenup, you need to take some time to think about what you want. Ask yourself if this is the time to move in together, if you haven’t already taken that step. The important thing is to realize that, while prenups don’t necessarily fit into the Hollywood notion of love, with passion at its center, they do fit in with the notion of marriage, which is essentially a contract.
Getting married is one of your most important life decisions, and it’s legally binding. Do you honestly think that you absolutely don’t need a backup plan?
When your partner wants a prenup, look at the benefits
There are many advantages to saying yes to signing the contract. It keeps your property safe in case of a divorce, and it can make the divorce much quicker and much less painful, should it come to that. Have you ever met anyone whose divorce dragged on for months or even over a year? There are many such situations, and that is one of the things prenup helps with.
Next, without a prenup, your divorce goes to court to examine evidence in order for the judge to reach a fair decision. Which evidence, you ask? Well, every detail of your personal life. In practice, this means the questioning of your character and the character of your future spouse. You may even have to prove that they are a bad person or treated you unfairly, which inevitably leads to resentment and bitterness on both sides.
Seek professional advice
While you are considering whether to sign a prenup, it may be helpful to ask for professional help. Pre-marriage counseling is not uncommon, and it may help you and your partner define your standpoints and reach a mutual decision in regard to the prenup.
A professional can help you to outline the expectations of your marriage and to understand what is expected of you. It is extremely beneficial even if in the end you decide not to sign when your partner wants a prenup.
However, if you do decide that it is safer to sign a prenup contract, seek a professional help as well. Many law firms, such as Doolan Wagner, specialize in family law, and they can provide much-needed help and guidance. Make sure that both you and your partner have your own attorneys to equally protect both of your interests.
When your partner wants a prenup: A few last words
The most important thing is to reach your own decision. Do not be pressured into one if your partner wants a prenup and you feel the terms are unfair.
If you sign anything that you fear may in the end work out for the worst, you’ll never be able to relax. The resentment is sure to sneak into your marriage and stays there. After everything is said and done, the most important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable with your decision to sign a prenup or not.
About today’s writer
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She’s passionate about self-growth and believes the quality of our lives depend on the quality of our relationships. When taking a break from writing, she is usually hitchhiking with her furry four-legged friend.