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How to talk to your child about getting a prenup

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements |

If you’ve worked hard to build a solid financial foundation for your family and grow the assets your parents left you, likely you intend for your child to inherit the bulk of them someday. You may have a business you plan for them to take over in the future.

As your child reaches the age where they’re in a serious relationship and maybe contemplating marriage, it’s understandable to have some concern about what could happen to those assets should your child’s marriage end in divorce. It’s probably time to talk to them about prenuptial agreements.

What your child needs to know

The best time to talk with your child about prenups is actually before there’s a potential spouse in the picture. Even a casual mention of them here and there as just something everyone needs to have these days to protect the family’s assets can help your child understand their value rather than see the suggestion as something negative about their partner or your expectations for their marriage.

It’s also important to let your child know what’s at stake. While they may be many years from getting their inheritance, they should know that there’s something worth protecting. While inheritances are among the types of property that may not be subject to division in divorce, there are a lot of ways an inheritance can become commingled with marital assets, which means your child’s spouse could seek – and get – a portion of it unless there’s an agreement in place.

Avoid pressuring anyone

Remember that you can’t require your child to get a prenup – or get directly involved in drawing it up if they do. You also can’t – or ask your child to — pressure a spouse-to-be into signing one. That’s a sure-fire way to invalidate it if it’s ever used.

A prenup needs to be fair to both parties. Even if one party has the bulk of the assets worth protecting, there should be a good reason for the other party to sign it. Each should have separate legal advisors to help ensure that their interests are protected and that the agreement is legally sound.

If your child refuses to get a prenup, you may be tempted – even for a moment – to disinherit them. Likely, nothing that drastic is necessary. There are other ways to “divorce-proof” an inheritance.

If you have questions or concerns about your child getting a prenup, or if they have questions you can’t answer, learning more about them can help you and them protect the family wealth.

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