The topic of divorce can be an imposing and difficult subject to bring up with your partner, especially if you have no plans to get a divorce. But it can be an important conversation to have together. The willingness to engage in a frank discussion early on in your relationship can show that you are serious about your commitment and are thinking about your shared future together. But when is the right time to open this line of conversation, and what should you say when you have no plans for divorcing your partner?
When to Discuss Divorce and What to Say
The best time to discuss divorce may actually be the time when divorce is most unthinkable: before you have even tied the knot. If you are engaged or thinking about marriage, opening up the discussion now could save you both a lot of heartbreak later.
Before you get married, you both may want to consider sharing what you really expect from your partner and in a marriage before that moment at the altar when you’re in front of an audience. Here are some questions to consider:
- What would be a “deal breaker” that you think would end your marriage immediately?
- How do your goals in the marriage align with your partner’s goals?
- Is there room for compromise on an issue you and your partner disagree on?
- What steps would you take if you felt that your marriage was at risk for a divorce?
- Would you ever consider couples therapy or marriage counseling?
- What kind of parenting arrangement would you both be willing to consider if you have children at the time of divorce?
This is a time to lay your cards on the table and think about your future together. Being forthright now can serve you well throughout your entire relationship, whether you divorce or not, so be candid and honest in the discussion.
This also may be a good time to bring up a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements aren’t right for everyone, but having one can protect you later if the relationship takes a turn that neither of you expected. They are especially helpful if you already have, or later expect to have, significant assets at stake. Finances are one of the primary reasons that people get divorced. Thinking about the issue now could actually serve to strengthen your marriage in the long run. Prenuptial agreements can provide a level of financial security and comfort for both partners, especially if there is an imbalance in wealth between the two of you.
Prenuptial agreements can also help protect one partner against the debt of the other and even lay out detailed plans for child custody in the event of divorce, making a divorce easier on everyone. Hopefully, you’ll never end up needing to use your prenuptial agreement, but just knowing that it’s there can provide a sense of stability to the relationship.
When the Relationship Is Over
If you do reach a point in your relationship when you think it’s time for a divorce, opening up the discussion can be a challenge. If you’ve already had a divorce talk ahead of time, it may make things go more smoothly since you’ll be working from a level of mutual understanding already. It may even help you work through your issues with one another and save your marriage, or it could give you the strength you need to end a marriage you have determined isn’t worth continuing.
Whatever you choose, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny will be there to support you when you need legal help. When you’re ready to talk about your prenuptial agreement, divorce, or other family law issues, call us, or use our online contact form to arrange a private consultation in our Bellevue office today.