Wedding Money: How to Bring Up Prenup?


My parents have been pressuring me to talk to my fiance about signing a prenuptial agreement. They're planning on passing a sizeable inheritance on to me, and want to be sure I'm protecting my assets. As much as I don't want to think about that kind of worst-case scenario right now, I know they're right. How do I bring it up with him?


The good news is that prenuptial agreements don't have the stigma that they once did and aren't just used by rich dudes protecting themselves against potential gold diggers. Couples today are getting married later in life and are much more likely to have accrued significant assets by the time they wed. The other side of the coin, of course, is that marriages nowadays are more likely to end in divorce, so to-be-weds are more interested in protecting themselves through pre-nups. You need to start by being frank: admit that while bringing up the idea that you could get a divorce or die defies the traditional image of the starry-eyed bride, you are bringing it up for a specific reason and (believe it or not) there are some definite perks to the process.

First, remind him that prenuptial agreements actually allow you as a couple to decide what will happen to your cash -- no matter who's earning it -- rather than leaving those decisions up to a judge. Then point out that drawing up a pre-nup forces couples to face their finances and start planning for the future -- something most newlyweds don't start to think about for years. You will both have to fully disclose your assets and sources of income (whether it's from your job or business or from a monetary gift like an inheritance). Once you've got that out in the open and on paper, you (and your lawyers) will decide together how it will be divvied up -- not only who will get the money, but, if you like, how it will be invested or otherwise spent. While it might not be the most cheerful part of your wedding planning, it will have you breathing a lot easier in the long run.

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