Find out how to Inform Your Quickly-To-Be Partner You Need a Prenuptial Settlement
With the right approach, a marriage contract can be initiated and discussed rationally. Your strategy should be to share the benefits and practicality with your intended spouse when you start bringing up the subject.
An opener could start by mentioning that a marriage license is a contract, and like any other “business” contract, most are in place to protect both parties and to set the “terms” of the contract in the event that the deal fails.
Granted, you don’t want to point to a catastrophe when you’re euphoric about the wedding planning stage, but it’s important to separate the “big day” fantasy from the practical and sensible side that you also need to plan, just in the Cases. Remember: You certainly wouldn’t venture into any other contract (buying a house, starting a business, buying a car, without a formal agreement. Bonding with a partner (spouse) is very similar. So head out the wedding cake for a minute and come to it The business side of your union. You really have nothing to lose in this. If it goes wrong, you have everything to gain. Throughout your marriage (and I hope you go the distance) more than anything, you will always be calm.
In this part 3 of the six-part series on marriage contracts, I offer the following points so that you can find out more about marriage contracts and why and how to put together a marriage contract. Additionally, these tips will give you guidance on how to approach your goal and will help him / her learn about a person and make that person feel good.
This is how you approach the subject of a prenuptial agreement
1. Everyone who has married in California and many other states in the country already has a “prenuptial agreement.”
California state law – commonly referred to as California community property law – usually determines what each person’s separate property, community property, maintenance, and certain inheritance rights are. The bottom line is this: anyone who gets married already has a built-in prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, the laws are not always black and white. They are tangled and complex, which can lead to unknown and unintended consequences. A prenuptial agreement is designed to pinpoint who is certain to be entitled to. With this contract, there is no question who is entitled to “what”.
2. Start the preparation process early.
Too often one party unexpectedly leaves the idea of a prenuptial contract on the other’s lap at the last minute. Many people react differently. They often need time to process the idea and find out what a prenuptial agreement is all about.
They need time to talk to others about why it would be beneficial for them to have one, compile their list of what they want and protect in the agreement, and seek help from trusted advisors. Suggest that your partner take the time to do these tasks. This way they don’t feel pressured or forced. Starting early is a diplomatic and smart move, especially for those who seemed surprised. Assign your partner to investigate why they should get married. This will help convince your future spouse to protect their individual assets. Perhaps you own a business, want to protect your business partners, family property, or a retirement account that you have built up over the years. If they were previously divorced and suffered a loss as a result of an unfavorable court judgment in the property assessment, such an arrangement can give them the peace of mind that in the worst case scenario they will not face the same misery again.
3. Choose the timing and level of discussion wisely.
Friday night after a long, hectic week with everyone tired, may not be a good time for you to discuss the terms of your prenuptial agreement ideas. When you come up with the idea of such an agreement, make an appointment to prepare everything for your joint discussion. This includes putting together your asset list, your questions and your discussion points.
The date and time should be set well in advance of the wedding. It is not advisable to request this discussion two weeks before the wedding. It should be called and the date set once you are engaged. Allowing three to four months is a good idea. It may take some negotiation and time to build your list and consult with others. Set a time limit if you need more than one discussion session. This is one more reason to start early. Sometimes it takes a while to agree to the terms of a marriage contract.
4. Finding balance: It is NOT “all-or-nothing” and MUST NOT be “all-or-nothing”.
Adjust the marriage contract to suit your needs while trying to meet your partner’s needs. The agreement does not have to be “all or nothing”. You may both want to keep all of your retirement plans as separate property during the marriage and let California joint ownership apply to everything else. You may want to pay maintenance using the standard formula, but limit the maximum payment period. State what the two or three most important “must-haves” are for you and ask your future spouse to be fair. Ask your partner what is most protective of them. Ask yourself the same questions. Focus on these concerns. Also, remember that there are always multiple ways to achieve goals. Should a goal seem objectionable, discuss a possible solution or consider the dead end with your respective lawyers. Through this process, you will likely find a balanced solution. This is an important exercise as you are about to partner up. All partnerships require compromises. If you can’t solve this problem, it is certainly a red flag for the relationship.
5. Consider mediation to solve difficult problems.
If you start prenuptial talks early and the lines of communication are open, you and your prospective spouse should be able to handle most problems. If there is a point or two that you cannot agree on and your lawyers cannot help you figure them out, consider mediation. A neutral outside mediator can help facilitate the discussion and assist you and your intended spouse in finding a friendly solution. Mediators are good at helping the parties see and understand both sides.
6. Nobody is absolutely imprisoned – people can change the marriage contract by simply giving their consent
No one is bound by the terms of the marriage contract, nor should the marriage contract be put aside and forgotten. If your circumstances change significantly, or if both you and your prospective spouse have a change of mind about any provision of the Agreement, you can revise and change it. Any amendment to a marriage contract must be made in writing and should be completed by a lawyer to ensure that the parties’ intentions are accurately reflected. Make sure the changes do not affect other sections of the marriage contract. Should things go wrong in the marriage, you don’t want added stress because he or she had legal counsel and you didn’t.
Both you and your intended spouse must have separate legal counsel. Typically, the agreement is drawn up based on the agreements that you and your partner have given the lawyer, but each of you should have an independent lawyer review it before signing. Once drafted, the agreement can be presented to the other lawyer for review and comment. Remember again that your marriage is not sealed with just a kiss and a marriage certificate; it is a binding contract.