You’re engaged, in love, ecstatic.

You are both looking forward to joining your lives together. Everything is romantic and joyous.

It hardly seems like the right time to bring up divorce.

In fact, that seems like it would put quite a damper on things.

No one gets married thinking they will get divorced, after all. Marriage is supposed to be until death do us part. So who would need a document that lays out what will happen to assets in the event of divorce?! There shouldn’t be a divorce!

That’s true.

But people can and do change. Circumstances shift. Love morphs.

Signing a prenuptial agreement (a “prenup”) does not mean you don’t believe in your marriage. It means that you both recognize that forever is a long time away, and there is the possibility that things may change. And if that happens, you want things to be as easy on you both as possible because you care about each other.

What exactly is a prenup?

A prenup is a legal agreement between two potential spouses that lays out what the division of assets would look like should the marriage break down.

Essentially, a prenup is half financial plan and half legal document.

Who would benefit from a prenup?

A prenup is not just for people with considerable assets.

Anyone considering getting married would benefit from a prenup.


The process of drafting a prenup can form a solid foundation to build a financial plan. A prenup, after all, requires full financial disclosure: that means all the assets and all the debts for both partners are on the table. It ensures that you both go into your marriage with your eyes wide open. There won’t be any skeletons in the closet to cause problems later in your marriage.

Drafting a prenup involves managing expectations – about children, retirement, lifestyle, inheritance, and debt. Those are all really good conversations to have as you start your new joined life.

And for couples who may not currently have large assets – that can (and will!) change. Setting up expectations from the beginning can save a lot of difficult discussions down the road in your marriage.

What should you consider when drafting a prenup?

Before drafting a prenup, there must be full financial disclosure.

That means that all your assets and your debts must be confirmed and listed. Once this list is created, discuss:

· Which of your assets will be held individually, and which will be marital property? Why?

· How will property be owned and divided?

· Will there be any spousal support obligations – how much, for how long, and why?

· If either of you receive an inheritance, how will that be treated?

· If you have children from a previous relationship, how will support payments be managed?

· How will retirement accounts, policies (life insurance, for example), or pensions be dealt with?

· How will personal debts incurred before the marriage be treated? Debts incurred during the marriage?

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Your lawyers can help you to determine the questions you want to ask and answer during the process.

Should your financial planner be involved in your prenup?


Your financial planner can help answer questions about what assets you should consider holding individually. They can walk you through what your financial future might look like if the prenup plays out, or if it doesn’t. And they can help guide your discussions with your future spouse to turn this process into a financial planning foundation for your long future together!

A prenuptial agreement is not a death sentence for a marriage. It can be a really healthy way to have important financial discussions with your future spouse to protect you both.

Book a call to discuss how to create a strong financial foundation for your marriage from the very beginning.