Before you go through with a wedding, you may have one big thing on your mind: a prenuptial agreement. There are a lot of negative connotation associated with prenups from the standpoint of the other partner. Make sure you approach the idea gently and in the right way. There are things you definitely should not say, but reasonable statements that can be made in their place.
Do Not Say: You have to protect your assets...just in case.
Instead Say: A Prenup is a sound financial decision for both of you.
With the first mention that you are protecting yourself...uh-um...just in case, your soon-to-be marriage partner will most likely get the impression you have some form of doubt in your mind about the relationship. When you are in the process of building your life with someone, faith in the stability of the relationship is crucial. You show a thread of doubt, and your supposed thought process will most likely be reciprocated, whether you truly have doubt or not. Approach the subject as a way to benefit your both, not just you.
Do Not Say: Your parents/best friend/lawyer recommended that you ask for a prenuptial agreement.
Instead Say: This is a resolution you made personally long ago.
If you are going to ask for a prenuptial agreement, then it is likely you have given the idea a great amount of thought and it is important to you. Trying to place the blame on someone else to get the spotlight off of you is just as bad as being dishonest with your partner. Take ownership of your decision and make it known, that this is a decision important to you, and your choice will be more respected.
Do Not Say: A prenuptial agreement is the only way you are going to marry someone.
Instead Say: A prenuptial agreement is important to you.
If you propose a prenuptial agreement as an ultimatum, there is a good chance a partner will duck and run. This is because this type of statement often comes off sounding as if your material possessions are more important to you than the relationship. Keep in mind that a prenup is not a necessity, but a personal choice. Some people will look at your proposal of a prenup as an insult and against everything they believe marriage should be: a joint effort in every facet. You do have to weigh your risks and priorities to determine which is the most important and go from there.
When you approach the topic in the right way, a prenuptial agreement does not have to be a dooming experience in a relationship. Offer the idea up early on and make sure any decisions made are for the best of both people involved. Take your partner with you to draw up the agreement with a family law attorney, like those at LaCroix & Hand PC, to make sure they are as involved in the process as you.