Love and Money

When you don’t have it, you’ll work hard to get it.
And when you get it, you’ll fight to keep it.

You can substitute love or money as the subject of that thought. That’s a big reason finances can be a touchy subject in any relationship, especially romantic ones. Broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement should be well-thought out and done with care. The Kelleher International matchmaking team shares their insight and experience to help you do just that.

Director of Matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate suggests, “Historically there is a negative connotation around prenuptial agreements that can stir something deep in a relationship, but financial transparency is important in any union, especially when you are set to be legally bound. I encourage any couple planning to walk down the aisle to go beyond the financial conversation – sit down and draft a document together that is more of a relationship contract. Couples should feel comfortable discussing their lifestyle, goals and intentions, as well as, investments, spending, and financial habits. A “prenup” can be professionally drafted by an attorney, or it can be the less formal document the couples draft together. Regardless, having the conversation and being open to how it goes is a good start to any relationship.”

Timing is also a key to creating a healthy environment for the conversation. Kelleher International’s Jessica Weale shares a cautionary tale, “One of my male friends advised not to wait too long to have the prenup discussion. He brought it up too close to the wedding, and it set a negative tone for everything. He wishes he’d discussed it way sooner.”

And what if your partner reacts unreasonably to the idea of a prenuptial agreement? Kimberly says, “If your partner doesn’t want to talk, refuses to compromise, seems secretive, or is not willing to share financial information with you it is important to absorb that knowledge and decide if that is the relationship you want. Step into marriage fully aware and willing to meet your partner where they are with no regrets or mistrust.”

Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell adds, “If you’ve thoughtfully and openly explained your financial plan and someone doesn’t respect your feelings about protecting your estate and children then you have to consider that they’re only in it for the money and reassess your feelings with this newfound knowledge.”

As tricky as money talk can be, when it comes to marriage it is vital to be raw and open about your relationship with money, your financial goals, and expectations, and your emergency plan to take care of your financial obligations in life upon death. By nature this isn’t a fluffy conversation; it’s instead one of the burdens of adulting.

Patty continues, ”Most of the clients I work with will require a prenup or relationship contract explaining both parties’ protected assets. Ideally, people respect each other’s feelings about protecting their assets. And if they are parents, most want to secure their children’s future assets from an angry spouse in a potential divorce. I’ve had many male clients begin the matchmaking process with a lot of insecurities about money and mistrust of women after a bitter break-up. The most important thing to remember is that a prenuptial agreement has nothing to do with not loving someone enough. There sometimes is that confusion, ‘If they love me, they want me to have the best.’ The world has evolved; it just doesn’t work like that anymore.”

The world is changing indeed, and women are bucking stereotypes and moving into power positions in droves. Kelleher’s Faith Busby shares an anecdote, “My client was recently quizzed if she would sign a prenup if her boyfriend proposed and gave her the paperwork to sign. She graciously responded that she would sign a prenup because she loves and respects her man, and also because she is confident in her success. Since she is confident in her ability to make her own money, she will happily sign a prenup. While out in the field of this ever-changing modern dating world, I find people are comfortable with a prenup as a requirement of marriage.”

What about you? Do you think a prenup or relationship agreement should be a requirement of marriage? Share your thoughts or any advice you have from your own experience with us in the comments section below.