Prenups Done Well

A prenup done right is freedom.

The little important conversations have been had with everyone, your partner, your children, your business associates, parents, grandparents. Everyone feels cared for, considered, secure and content. Even more than the understanding, the writing is in place. It’s codified. Everybody knows they’ve been planned for even if they don’t know the specifics. And if there are any questions, there’s something to refer to besides memory. If any changes are needed, they come with a clearly defined starting place.

With a legal document and the attendant disclosures comes more certainty. Assets, details of business relationships, control of resources, obligations, and liabilities, are all clear. And the communication, trust and love required to make those disclosures is there. All of the questions have been asked and answered. What is your business arrangement? What income do you bring home? What are we going to live on? What is going to be carved out for children? Neither partner has to be afraid of the answer to those questions or discover something shocking far down the road.

Freedom is the result when the little conversations have been had and the prenup itself is in place. It gives you a head start on your life together. It’s about so much more than finances, assets, or money, it’s a plan. It’s a path. It’s talking about what you want to do together, what you want to do individually, what you value, how you’re going to bring your lives together. Healthy and affirming.

The pathways for conversations big and small have been laid. The two biggest disagreement points in marriage are money and in-laws, for subsequent relationships add in kids and exes. When you’ve successfully worked through the prenup, you already have made a lot of these decisions and have a strong history of these kind of discussions. You’re having  small conversations instead of big ones–working through something rather than blowing up.

When we do the prenup well, we’re taking care of all the people in our lives, each other, our kids, our families of origin, and even our business partners. All of those people are important and considered and they know it. They may not know the terms of the prenup, they may not be there for the conversations, but they know that they have been seen. They know they are important. They know that they are loved. They know that they’re a part of this new life that the two of you have together.

Society views a prenup as planning for divorce and keeping as much stuff for yourself as possible. It’s not; a prenup can’t even be written that way. It’s not a valid prenup if it’s unconscionable; the court will throw it aside. A prenup is not an adversarial matter, it’s open communication inside a loving relationship. It is love and caring in action. It’s showing up, listening to what your partner needs, how your partner feels cared about and making plans together for now and the future. A prenup is freedom.