How To Ask Your Fiancé For A Prenup

sarah ryan
Sarah RyanAccount Manager @ Lawhive & Non-Practising Solicitor
Updated on 17th May 2024

Asking your fiancé for a prenup can be tough. You might worry that they will think you don't trust them or that you don't believe in your relationship. Let's be honest, talking about finances and legal agreements isn’t exactly romantic and can clash with the idealistic view of marriage many of us hold, which is why many people feel anxious about raising prenup with their partners.

That being said, prenuptial agreements can be significant for many couples.

In fact, recent surveys show that almost half of Britons, especially women, think they are a good idea. So, why are we so afraid of asking for them?

In this article, we’ll look at prenuptial agreements and share practical tips on how to ask your partner for a prenup while minimising the risk of arguments or misunderstandings.

What is a prenup?

A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a contract that couples sign before getting married or entering into a civil partnership. Prenuptial agreements outline how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled if they divorce.

What is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?

The main purposes of a prenup are to: 

  • Protect individual assets and properties 

  • Clarify financial responsibilities and expectations during the marriage/partnership 

  • Prevent disputes by detailing how assets will be divided in case of a divorce. 

What are the benefits of a prenup?

The main benefits of a prenup are: 

  1. Safeguard hard-earned assets you’ve acquired before marriage, like property and savings.

  2. Prevent one partner from being responsible for the other’s pre-marriage debts. 

  3. Set expectations as to how household expenses will be divided during the marriage. 

  4. Establish a clear plan for dividing assets and spousal support in case of divorce

  5. Protect the ownership and management of any business and specify how future earnings and business growth will be treated.

  6. Ensure assets intended for children from previous relationships are protected.

Simply, prenups can be a smart and practical decision for many couples, offering protection, clarity, and peace of mind for the future.

So...why is it so difficult to talk about prenups?

Many view marriage through a romantic lens, expecting it to be free from the pragmatic considerations of finances and legalities. So, talking about a prenup can feel unromantic and out of sync with this view.

Most commonly, the suggestion of a prenup might be seen as one partner planning for the worst, which could be misinterpreted as a lack of faith in the relationship.

Further, if there are significant differences in the financial situation between partners this can cause friction when exploring prenuptial agreements, as the wealthier partner might worry about appearing greedy or selfish, while the less wealthy partner might feel undervalued. 

Because of all these assumptions and misconceptions about prenups, it can be difficult for one partner to clearly explain their reasons for wanting one without sounding like they're preparing for the worst.

How to ask your fiancé for a prenup

If you want to ask your fiancé for a prenup, but you’re worried about their reaction, here are some practical tips to help you tackle the conversation. 

Reflect on your reasons 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a prenuptial agreement. But if emotions run high it can be hard to explain your reasons without tying yourself in knots.

So, the first step to approaching a productive conversation on the matter is to reflect on your reasons for wanting a prenup in the first place. Ask yourself: 

  1. What are my financial goals and priorities? 

  2. What assets or inheritances do I want to protect and why? 

  3. What concerns do I have about financial responsibilities during our marriage? 

Give yourself the space to be honest about your motivation and reasons, setting them out in writing. This will form the foundation of your conversation. 

For example, if you have children from a previous relationship, you may want to make sure they are provided for in the future.

Put yourself in your fiancé's shoes

When you fully understand your reasons and motivations for asking for a prenup, look at the situation from your partner’s perspective. Think about how they might react to the idea of a prenup and, more importantly, why. Also, take a beat to consider their financial situation and how a prenup might affect them. 

Negative reactions are most often born out of fear and insecurity. If you worry they may react in this way, try to get under the skin of why this might be and work out how you can meet this fear and insecurity head-on by anticipating any concerns or questions they may have. 

Choose the right time and place 

The worst time to ask your fiancé for a prenuptial agreement is during an argument or when emotions are high! If one or both of you are stressed, it’s more likely you’ll respond negatively and defensively. 

Instead, be strategic in your approach and choose a time and place for an open and honest conversation.

Plan your approach 

Many people find the hardest part of broaching the topic of prenups with their fiancé is starting the conversation. Lack of planning here can see you blurting it out or raising it at the wrong moment, which could lead to miscommunications and arguments. 

To avoid this, lead with love and respect. If you’re concerned your fiancé might be worried you aren’t committed to the relationship by asking for a prenup, reassure them that you are first, then lay out your reasons for wanting it. 

Prenups are agreements, so you shouldn’t demand one. This is likely to be met with anger or resistance. Instead, express your desire to create one that's fair and mutually beneficial. This is especially important if there is a difference in your respective financial situations. Remember contributions to a relationship go beyond finances, and you should account for this, too.

Be open to discussion

If your fiancé does react negatively to you asking for a prenup, try not to become defensive in your response. Similarly, if they become upset, don’t dismiss their feelings or tell them they’re being silly. 

Instead, listen actively and empathetically to their concerns and present collaborative solutions. Most importantly be willing to compromise and negotiate the terms of the agreement.

But remember, you don’t have to sort the whole prenup out there and then.

You may, for example, use this initial consultation to suggest you and your partner consult with a family lawyer to work out the best way of creating a fair and mutually beneficial agreement. 

Get expert help with prenuptial agreements

Common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements can make it difficult to ask for one. Not to mention our very British aversion to talking about money matters, especially where love and marriage are involved. 

Having said that, prenuptial agreements can be a fantastic way to lay everything out on the table and provide clarity regarding financial arrangements in a marriage and how you might work out a fair financial settlement if you do get divorced.

While getting married is romantic, it is also a legal arrangement. When you look at it this way, of course, it would make sense you view a prenuptial agreement as just as important as the legally binding commitment you'll make on your wedding day. 

It is possible to ask your fiancé for a prenup, provided you approach the conversation with honesty, empathy, and a commitment to mutual understanding. What’s more, the better prepared you are to address concerns and find common ground, the more likely you are to reach an agreement that reflects your shared values and priorities. 

Ready to start the conversation about prenups with your fiancé? Our network of expert family lawyers has extensive experience in drafting prenuptial agreements that are personalised to your financial and personal situation. 

Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation and get a fixed fee quote for the services of a specialist lawyer.

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