Nothing quite says I love and appreciate you until the end of time, like sharing your delicious pizza with the one you love. Oh, and of course promising to do so for the rest of your life, like when exchanging your “I do’s.”
Equally so, nothing quite kills the mood like having to look to the future through a grimmly lit crystal ball, searching for the possibility that something could go hugely wrong, like that “I do” becoming an “I do not want to see your face ever again.” Moreover, “honey, I love sharing this pizza with you but just in case I want it all for myself in 50 years time, I need you to sign this agreement,” certainly isn’t appropriate dinner talk. So, when and how do you bring up an antenuptial agreement with the one you love?
By now, I’m sure you have realised that this pizza we keep mentioning isn’t a delicious cheesy mess, but rather a metaphor for financial rights and assets you may or may not want to share when first entering into your marriage. You may want to share only a couple of slices, go the full monty, or decide that it’s best not to share any rights and assets at all.
So, what is an antenuptial agreement anyway?
As a guide, there are usually three marital regimes couples may want to explore moving forward. An antenuptial agreement is basically another name for a prenup, in which you and your partner sign an agreement whereby both of you agree to retain assets individually, either during your marriage or after should things turn sour.
Get it out of the way so you can focus on the fun stuff
Although the conversation isn’t the most charming one to have amongst all the wedding excitement, it’s vital that you have the conversation as soon as possible. In fact, if you can, try to talk about it as early as the engagement period. This way, you won’t have to rush into signing a contract and you can allocate some time to talk about things at your own pace.
Make sure you bring it up in a relaxed environment
Talking about sharing money or assets can be a heavy topic to have with anyone, so it helps to have this kind of conversation in a relaxed environment, especially if you have had any arguments surrounding them in the past. At the same time, discussing money doesn’t have to be serious or heavy. If you’re worried things might get heated, try setting some time aside to talk about it in an environment you both enjoy. With that in mind, make sure neither of you have anywhere to rush off to.
Be flexible, things aren’t always black and white
Couples should be able to feel relaxed and open with one another when making future plans, even if it means planning to “exclude” them. In most cases, things don’t have to be black and white and having open conversations can help the two of you decide what’s best for both of you. This also means not presenting your partner with a pre-written contract, but rather writing one together instead, to avoid anyone feeling hurt or defensive. It’s also helpful to leave room for flexibility and change by going through a number of possible future outcomes, working out which potential solutions would best suit you both.
You and your partner should only sign the agreement once you’ve both worked through any worries and concerns you might have. In your budding romance, planning for what may go wrong might not feel like the butterflies in your stomach that you are used to. However, when done in the right manner, planning ahead can be just as much an act of love and respect for your future selves as anything else.