A Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) or prenup agreement is a private contract between two people who are planning to get married. The purpose of this contract is to disclaim how things like financial assets will be handled in the unfortunate circumstance the relationship does not work out, and one or both parties seek a divorce.
At face value, prenup agreements can feel like taking out an insurance policy on the relationship. This can make it awkward to ask your partner about, even if you are confident in the utility of doing it as a ‘worst-case-scenario’ safety measure.
There are many good reasons why you might want to draft a BFA with your partner before you get married, and many people choose to engage professional family lawyers to help them do it. For example, you might have children from a previous marriage that you want to ensure will be provided for in the event of a divorce, or you may have a significant inheritance that you want to protect.
Of course, all of this can feel like you are not putting absolute faith in the relationship. This can make approaching your partner about signing a prenup agreement an awkward affair.
The following will take a look at some tips to help you talk to your partner about signing a prenup agreement.
Reassure them that it is not a lack of faith in the relationship
Many people see a prenup agreement as a mature step that two adults can take to prepare for the worst. When you buy a car insurance policy, you don’t do it because you intend to crash the car, you do it to minimise the negatives in the unfortunate circumstance a crash does occur.
This kind of analogy can help your partner to understand that signing a BFA is not a reflection of your lack of faith in the relationship but is simply a clever choice. Nobody can predict the future, and no matter how much you may love each other right now, things can and do change.
You can only hope that your partner will be mature enough to recognise that the relationship may not work out. A prenup agreement is very useful as a way of protecting both of your assets from being disputed and making any divorce as quick and as painless as possible.
Tell them it is going to protect them as well
A prenup agreement is also going to give assurances to your future spouse about what they will walk away with, in the event of a relationship breakdown. This can give them a great deal of reassurance when they realise the benefits of signing a BFA with you.
Marriage is a two-way partnership, and the BFA is a fair and equitable declaration before things have been formalised that cover the event of a split. Of course, when circumstances change in the marriage, the BFA can be updated and altered to suit the new circumstances.
A court will not accept a prenup agreement if the contract has terms that no longer make sense or would no longer be fair. Therefore, your partner does not need to be afraid that the BFA will leave them destitute if circumstances change during the marriage.
Asking your partner to sign a prenup agreement with you is not as simple as asking them what they want for lunch, but it is an important step to take if you care about the matter. If it is important to you, then they should understand your reasons and be willing to negotiate with you about the terms of the contract.