How Can I Tell My Partner I’m Mad About Having a Prenup?
You can recognize why it’s useful and still have complicated feelings about it
Dear Joint Accounts,
I am a 45-year-old single woman, never married, no kids. For the last four years, I’ve been dating a man who was married for 20 years and is now divorced with three grown kids. He’s not ready to marry again just yet, but we talk about spending our lives together and getting married eventually. He always brings up the fact that if we do marry, a prenup would be required.
I know this is a normal part of modern relationships, but I can’t help but feel bad about it. Though I have a successful career as a college professor, he is in the business world and makes considerably more money than I do. I grew up with parents who married young, are still together, and have always shared everything. I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this notion that finances will be kept separate and we need to go into it with an “escape plan.” Any advice?
Prenups carry a stigma, and there are so many misconceptions surrounding them — even if you’re the partner asking for one.
One of the most common misconceptions is that they’re not that ubiquitous. Technically, all married couples have a prenup, in that your state already has a default set of rules for how assets are handled. Drafting up your own prenuptial agreement simply lets you take those rules into your own hands, deciding for yourself how your assets will be divvied up in the unhappy event you were to ever divorce.
But a prenup also has other uses unrelated to splitting up. It helps you protect yourselves and each other even during the marriage — if one spouse racks up a bunch of debt, for instance, a prenup can prevent the other from being liable. And you can use a prenup to make sure one person is financially covered in case of the other’s death.
The truth is, many marriages do end in divorce, so it’s painful, but practical, to get on the same page about what you’d do if your partnership ended. But wanting a prenup is also a good sign: The fact that your partner is…