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A prenuptial agreement, also known as a domestic contract, marriage contract or cohabitation agreement depending on the nature of the relationship, is a contract that sets out how a couple’s assets will be divided if they divorce, separate or if one of them passes away. Though a tough topic to bring up, it can be useful to give couples clarity and peace of mind when they enter into their marriage or common-law relationship. Many stigmas and misconceptions surround the topic, but when approached correctly, it can be a bonding and strengthening experience resulting in a fair agreement that benefits both you and your partner!
Conversations surrounding finances can be difficult. Often, they are completely avoided, with the simple opinion of ‘what is mine is yours’ being adequate. But when it comes time for your livelihood to depend on the fine print, it is imperative to have a clear distinction surrounding your assets and liabilities and your partner’s. Communication takes work – both talking and listening! But with good communication, working through disagreements will be easier and set the foundation for a solid relationship.
Take The Time to Be Honest
Choosing the right time to have the discussion can lead to it being a healthy and productive talk. Deciding to bring it up during an argument or when one of you doesn’t have the time to dive into the topic thoroughly can lead to explosions and frustration. Take the time to think about why this is important to you, what your goals are and your viewpoints surrounding prenups and marriage so that you can be transparent and honest with your partner.
Focus on the Positives!
Focus the conversation on the fact that prenups can set you and your partner up for a smooth transition if the time ever comes. These agreements can offer much-needed emotional stability if the marriage or common-law relationship/partnership ends. They also play a part in differentiating what happens with property and other assets in the event of the death of a partner. Overall, prenups are a positive process that gives both parties in a marriage the comfort and knowledge that you will be looked after no matter what.
Try An Empathetic Approach
As stated before, it is crucial to approach the topic truthfully. Delve into why you want to go this route, explaining the circumstances and grounds that have helped you reach this conclusion. After explaining, listen to your partner’s response with open ears and heart. Give them the space to explain their circumstances, ideologies and outlooks and move forward with empathy, both when their mindset is different and when they are on the same page as you! This is a step in the learning experience.
Discussing prenups with your partner might not be easy, but there will be many uncomfortable situations and conversations you will have to work through throughout your relationship. It all depends on your approach to discussing these topics and if it is in a way that is received properly by both ends. You and your partner are tying the knot for a reason – you are the perfect match. Prenups serve as a promise that no matter where life takes you, good or bad, till death do you part, you will always have a mutual understanding and respect for each other that outweighs everything else.
At Gelman & Associates, our trusted and experienced team of family lawyers all share the same goal, which is to ensure our clients are fully informed, and their rights are protected throughout their marriage. Our lines are open Monday through Friday from 8 am-8 pm to ensure that we are available for our new and existing clients when needed. For a discreet initial consultation, call us at (416) 736-0200, or contact us online.
While many sources say that prenuptial agreements lead to longer marriages, other sources disagree. However, a prenup will protect you if your marriage breaks down.
You can protect your assets in your marriage without getting a prenup by legally separating your finances from your spouse, keeping items you brought into the marriage or acquired through an inheritance separate, and valuing your business.
Unless it is specifically mentioned in the agreement, spousal abuse or cheating cannot invalidate a prenuptial or partition agreement. It’s also worth noting that such agreements generally do not mention cheating or abuse.