How to Talk to Your Spouse About a Postnuptial Agreement

Discussing a postnuptial agreement with your spouse can be a wise and proactive step towards securing your financial future together. This conversation requires mutual respect and foresight, as it aims to clarify financial expectations and commitments. Postnuptial agreements are not just meant to protect assets but also to ensure that both partners feel secure, regardless of what the future holds. Here are some tips to approach this sensitive topic thoughtfully, aiming for a discussion that is as smooth and positive as possible.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by a couple after they are married, detailing how assets and financial responsibilities will be handled in the event of a separation or divorce. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, which is made before the wedding, a postnuptial agreement can be initiated at any point during the marriage. This flexibility is particularly useful for couples who encounter significant changes in their financial landscape—whether that be through inheritance, entrepreneurship, or career advancement—that weren’t present or anticipated when they originally married. 

Postnuptial agreements can also be beneficial in managing responsibilities like debt repayment or educational expenses for children. Opting for such an agreement provides a structured framework for financial dealings. This can help prevent disputes and ensure both parties are on the same page with their marital finances, fostering a clearer mutual understanding and stronger partnership.

Preparing for the Conversation

When planning to discuss a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, choosing the right moment and setting is crucial. It’s best to approach the topic when both of you are calm and not distracted by other pressures, perhaps during a quiet evening at home or on a relaxed weekend. Start the conversation positively, expressing your commitment to the relationship and the desire to ensure mutual security and peace of mind. Before you sit down, think about the main points you want to convey. Why do you feel a postnuptial agreement is necessary? How can it benefit both of you? Be ready to explain these aspects clearly and succinctly. Your approach should be collaborative, not confrontational. You’re inviting your partner to join you in making thoughtful, proactive decisions about your shared future, reinforcing the trust and teamwork in your marriage.

Having the Conversation

When discussing a postnuptial agreement, it’s important to maintain an open and respectful dialogue. Here are some key points to guide this conversation:

  • Start with Your Feelings: Express why you feel a postnuptial agreement is necessary. Emphasize that it’s not about distrust but about building a secure future together. 
  • Listen Actively: Make sure to give your spouse space to voice their thoughts and concerns. Listening is just as important as speaking. Show empathy and understanding, regardless of their initial reaction.
  • Discuss Mutual Benefits: Highlight how the agreement benefits both partners, not just one. Discuss scenarios where it could provide clarity and protection, such as unforeseen financial changes or responsibilities.
  • Stay Calm and Patient: Keep the tone calm and avoid getting defensive. This conversation might take time, and your spouse may need a period to reflect on the idea.

Focusing on these points can foster a constructive and supportive environment that encourages open communication and joint decision-making.

Next Steps After the Discussion

After discussing a postnuptial agreement, if your spouse is open to the idea, the next step is to consult with a family law attorney together. An attorney can help draft an agreement that fairly reflects both of your interests and concerns. This legal guidance ensures that the agreement complies with state laws and addresses all relevant financial aspects. If your spouse is hesitant or disagrees, respect their feelings and suggest revisiting the conversation later. It’s important to maintain open lines of communication and to approach the topic again with understanding, possibly after some reflection or changes in circumstances.

Contact Our Experienced Orlando Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys

At Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, we guide couples through drafting postnuptial agreements that honor both parties’ interests. If you’re considering such an agreement, contact us. We’ll ensure the process is clear, fair, and tailored to your unique needs.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.