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Are you signing a pre-nup?


Re: Are you signing a pre-nup?

  • I think they are fine for other people but not for us. I think it's smart so individuals can protect their possessions in case of a split but we've already owned our home and belongings for years. I have no problem with others having one but I would find it distasteful for us. 
  • ltykaltyka member
    It doesn't just cover divorce, but death too.  We're getting a pre-nup.  Two lawyers - one representing each of us.  Full disclosure is a must.   We both have assets, but I have significantly more than him, and I have two kids.  Scenario:  I get hit by a bus the day after our wedding - he gets, by law, all of it!  Even if I have a will, by law he gets 1/2.  Then, say, he remarries (which I hope he would!).  Now this woman is entitled to half or all of what should be my children's.  Wrong!  Our pre-nup will make sure my soon to be husband is completely protected, but that my children get the bulk, or at least their fair share, of my assets.

    A pre-nup doesn't plan a divorce anymore than it plans a death.  It is the smart thing to do if you have assets.  My fiancee is completely in favor of it.  Why would he oppose it?  He's not marrying me for my money.  If he opposed a pre-nup it would give me pause.  Of course I'll always share everything with him.  Of course we'll never have to use it.  Of course the pre-nup willl be completely fair to both of us.  But to not have one, with significant assets or with children, is irresponsible .

    If you don't have many assets (other than a house and cars) and you don't have any chidren, there is no reason for a prenup.  But if you do - I would think long and very hard about abandoning the idea in the name of romance.
  • I agree with earlier comments that if you have a lot of assets going into a marriage, then that may be a legitimate reason to have a pre-nup. My only argument is this: if you're not willing to share/split belongings and possessions for the rest of your life with this person - whether in good times or in bad (such as in a divorce)......why are you about to commit to sharing much more valuable, personal things of yourself - your heart, your mind, your soul, with this person for the rest of your life by going into the marriage?
  • Like some of the above posts, my FI and I don't really have the assets to make a prenup necessary...

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  • I am also a law student and just got engaged.  I will not be getting a prenup.  When you get married it's a risk, but the whole point is to start a life together where you share everything.  Personally, I would not want to marry someone who had an attitude of what's mine is mine, and yours is yours.  Everything should be OURS otherwise you aren't really in it together.

    The reality is you have no idea what the situation will be like if you do get divorced - what your need will be or what will be fair.  I could only see it as being at all worthwhile if you have a ridiculous amount of money, which isn't most of us. 
  • You get car insurance hoping you'll never get in an accident.

    You have health insurance hoping you'll never need to use it.

    You pay for home insurance hoping nothing bad will happen to your property.

    Prenups are basically divorce insurance. You HOPE you will never get divorced, but it protects both of you in the instance things don't work out.

    We won't be signing one because we don't really have anything established individually that needs to be protected. But for people who have considerable assets, I think it's foolish for them to let love blind them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with protecting yourself (and really, if your partner has assets, you're protecting them, too.)

  • We aren't signing a Pre-Nup. Like some of the PP's, we don't have much of value so there isn't anythign that we would be able to put into a Pre-Nup at this point in our lives. If either of us did have something worth protecting, we might consider a Pre-Nup, but since there isn't, the question is "Moo" (like a cow's opinion, as seen on "Friends").
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  • cbmtcbmt member
    No prenup, but everything we have we got together.  Maybe if things were different my response would be different.
  • I had a prenup as did my daughter.  It was required by a family trust in both cases but I would have had one anyhow.  It's mostly common sense as no one thinks they will ever get divorced or die young;. 

    And that is dangerous thinking at any time.
  • I agree with lenore and stephers.  If you think a failed marriage is on it's way, why would you even bother with the wedding?  I'm not blindly going into marriage thinking "oh we're in love, we're going to last forever!"  But I also understand the serious implications of marriage, and that it's something I'm entering into for better for worse, forever.  Meaning I'm not going to crap out of the marriage if we're not getting along at a particular time, or for really any other reason.  It will require work, but by getting married we're both agreeing to do whatever we have to do to make it work. 
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  • PiruPiru member
    Great thread, I was hoping someone would start it becuase I think it would be a good idea but don't know much about it. I haven't talked about it with my fiance but he's a very logical person and I don't think he'll have a problem.

    I'm in a similar situation. I'm currently receiving monthly deposits from an inheritance from my grandfather and will for the next 10 years, just enough to live off of for now. My parents are pretty wealthy and it's likely I'll be inheriting 7 figures and substantial property from them.

    Even that I wouldn't worry about, but I'm pursuing a career in horses and I know of a trainer who got divorced and her ex about ruined her and made it somehow so she had to sell her property and get rid of the horses. Not something I want to go through since horses are a lot harder to replace than dollars.

    Interesting that they get dismissed regularly though. I'll have to look into it more.

    If I do do it, I doubt we'll tell anyone since like you said, people are against it and some, my family in particular, are of the opnion we aren't going to work out anyway so I don't want to add fuel to the fire.
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  • "Plan for the worst, hope for the best"

    This decision is very personal to each couple and if you are worried about what other ppl think of you having a pre-nup or not is just silly. Do you poll your friends (in the non-legal world) whether you should have a will or not or who to include in it?

    Planning the pre-nup will actually get you two talking about serious topics that will later strengthen your marriage.

    Like you said though, independent counsel for both bride and groom is a must.
  • If we go with a pre-nup it would read something along the lines of: 
     'What was mine or yours before the wedding is still yours or mine.  What I inherit from my family is mine.  What you inherit from your family is yours.  Joint owned things will either be split 50-50 or sold to pay off joint debt with any left over cash being split 50-50.  In regards to the house, it's in his name & he makes 100% of the mortgage payments, but I paid the back taxes & the homeowners insurance when we started living together.  I also pay 90% of the repairs (the house was built in 1946).  So we will most likely both move out & rent it out & split the profits 2/3 to house maintenance fund, 1/6 to me, 1/6 to him.'  Turning the house into rental income makes more sense than selling it outright or fighting over who paid more.   
  • As for thinking that your relationship will last forever, What happened to that guy that made you feel the same way in 7th grade?  Or the one in 8th grade or the one when you were 19?  Or the one you were madly in love with at 25? Or 30?  Basically what I'm saying is that people change & grow through out their lives & what you want & love best now may be exactly what you despise in 15 years.  It totally sucks to think about it now, but it sucks worse at the end when you are going thru a divorce & end up paying $300.00 an hour to fight about grandma's silver service. While the divorce rate is about 50%, The stayed married rate is also about 50%!  I wonder if there is a chart that shows length of marriages at time of divorce?
  • I am not a practicing lawyer, but I did graduate from law school and as far as divorce law is concerned, I have tremendous exposure.  

    I can tell you from first hand knowledge that prenups do and will create boundaries that can fester into resentment, insecurity, and the sense that a path to failure is thoughtfully constructed.

    There is VERY LITTLE that you can't accomplish with a brilliant attorney and some solid trusts to protect your current and future assets.  Just consider all of your options before you take your partners hand and lead him through the "what if" journey.  It's not a fun one -- especially for the person who has less in the way of material possessions.

  • We're signing a pre-nup because we're going into the marriage with six cats and two dogs (whom we both love very much!) and we want to make sure that their interests are upheld in case the worst happens.  Also, I currently make much more money than my fiance'. 

    That said, I don't think anyone goes into marriage with the intent on getting divorced.  My fiance' and I have been together for eight years - since high school.  I truly feel like if we can make it through the transitions of high school, college, doctorate school, we can make it through anything.  It's just that nobody knows what the future holds.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.

  • We definitely did.  I watched my parents fight over money, assets & kids in their divorce and I truly believe the stress of the ongoing vicious fighting ended up causing my dad's cancer to return and ultimately killed him.  I love my husband but there is zero predictor of the future and whatever happens I'd never want to harm the father of my kids.  We got married in our 30's so had some assets, we are certainly not rich but I considered it a form of pre-marriage counselling to make sure we both understand how we valued our assets and money.  At the same time we had our wills drawn up now that we are married.  Do what your comfortable with - everyone has a different situation and if anyone judges you for it its coming from pure ignorance and you can be a better person!  Best Wishes!
  • edited March 2010
    Thanks for the responses. Now this is just my opinion, but the people who say, "Why are you expecting to get divorced?" or "Why are you thinking about divorce" or "Why are you getting married if you are already expecting a failed marriage?" are really immature and naive. 

    Why would ANYONE get married if they THOUGHT they would get divorce? I can never imagine getting a divorce, but it CAN and DOES happen. What if he turns into a completely different person, or meets the love of his life at work 10 years from now? What if he cheats on me?

    I put on my seatbelt every time I get into a car, but  I don't think I'm going to get into a car accident that day. 
    I lock my house every time I leave, but I don't think someone's going to break in. 
    I have health, life, house, ring, and car insurance - but I didn't buy it because I thought my house was going to burn down, I was going to die young, I would lose my ring and crash my car!

    A pre-nup is insurance. It's a little piece of paper that you sign once, and forget about. But should I ever need it, I will be so glad I won't have to draw out the divorce process in court spending $$$$ on family lawyers - a little step to mediation, as per the pre-nup, would be all that is required. :)
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  • I work in family law too & this is what I think....

    1st & foremost you need to have your own attorneys represent you & do it way before you get married b/c if you do get divorced the other spouse could contest the agreement & say it was signed under duress.

    2nd, I know in NJ (and pretty sure most other states) you would need a QDRO to divide up his pension & you really aren't entitled to the pre-marital share anyways. Also inheritance will not go into equitable distribution.

    Also, a prenup is not death planning -- death planning is called a Will, Power of Attorney & Living Will. 

  • I make more than my fiance, so I want to protect myself with a pre-nup and he's fine with it.  It's going to be informal; a friend of ours is a lawyer and drawing something short up for us.  Of course, I feel like we'll never need it, but who on earth would marry someone if they felt like they would someday need a pre-nup?! My point is, you just never know. It happens, and I'm sure those people who it happened to probably never saw it coming either.  We just can't tell his religious mom, because she'll have a HEART ATTACK!
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  • OP - in your case it makes sense.  You have assets to protect.

    I don't really have anything, and neither does he.  So for us it would be a complete waste of time.
  • As a note for those who are doing pre-nups to "protect" assets, I just have to say it does not always work. Marriage is still a risk.

    Without going into to many details, my fiance had a pre-nup with his X wife. It was drawn up by an attorney and included also assets held prior to the marriage. It was actually examined by three attorneys total before they signed it.

    It took one day in the divorce hearing for the pre-nup to be thrown out. They had no children, she was a relatively high wage earner and he lost a significant amount of what he came into the marriage with. No, he was not drinking or being abusive and no she was not in any way disabled. Now, you can definitely argue his own attorney was no prize. Also, I understand that the treatment of pre-nups in general can vary a lot from state to state.

  • ltykaltyka member
    To tiny dancer - In my state, anyway, a spouse can make an election against a will, and take half the assets even if the will reads otherwise.  But if a prenup addresses that issue, the spouse cannot make that election.  This would be particularly important to someone with children particularly if they are, for instance, going into a family business.  A spousal election against a will can bankrupt a small business in such a circumstance.
  • I'm with the PP that mentioned death. Wills go so far but in our prenump we lay out that he must consent to waive his 'right' to part of my estate so that it can all go to my god-children. What I dont want to happen - under ANY circumstances is his son (who doesn't live with us) getting ANYTHING - even if I die. Yes, I will be putting this in the will as well.

    The pre-nump also states that I have full control over my retirement funds. For instance, my 401k plan (in the goverment) REQUIRES spousal consent if I want to make a loan or withdrawl as they are ENTITLED to part of your retirement fund - unless you can show where they have waived that right. So my pre-nump states that he is required to sign any waivers or change/withdrawl/etc that are required for me to do anything I want with my retirement as it is MY asset.
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  • Smart to get a prenup.  We will be.  I've seen too many situations where the wife who worked her a$$ off as a lawyed ended up having to give half her hard-earned 401K to her husband who had a 9 to 5 job.  Bogus.  I haven't done it yet, though, but I totally support you in your decision, my friend, and good luck with the rest of law school and the Bar!
  • Is your FI comfortable with the idea of a pre-nup? I am not getting one, but you need to do whatever makes you feel comfortable.  If you and your FI want one than it is nobody's business if that is what you guys decide to do.

  • I am getting married in about 2 months.  This was brought up to me by my FI last week.  I was a little stunned and upset at first because I feel he should have brought this up to me before the engagement, to atleast know where we both stand with it.  And also bc my emotion and stress levels are a little high as we get closer to our date.  BUT I've thought about it and think that atleast for him it will make the marriage easier.  Now, my FI is an attorney himself and obviously makes more income than I do.  I haven't worked in the last 2 years because according to him, "I work too hard for you to work honey."  Being so, I don't bring any income at all.  So far, my parents still support me because I do not feel totally comfortable with my FI paying for all my expenses (ie. insurance, car, material things, grooming, etc) and also because my parents still could help. BUT it was understood that after marriage, he would fully support me.  My FI and I currently live in his house that he's owned since 1995.  Since I moved into his home, I have not put one single penny into it bc I always understood that in the event of a seperation, I do not feel I should be entitled to any part of his home.  And even after marriage, I still would not feel it was right if we divorced and I took 50% of his home.  So I feel the pre-nup should be good in that case.  Now what made me upset was that he mentioned if we were together up to 3 years I would recieve one check of $10,000 and all is done.  First of all, I do not work because of him, which means I am not saving any money into an account, so if the event that we divorce in 3 years of the marriage I only receive $10,000 and that is all I have to get back on my feet? I feel that this is unfair to me and is quite disappointing bc hookers in Vegas make more than that in a month!!  I have to admit though, hearing that only made me greedy in the sense that whatever money I inherit from my parents or any assets that I can attain, I would like to make sure he doesn't get bc I'm only worth $10,000 to him.  I am trying my best to put aside my emotions and I have done a fairly good job as of yet.  I agree with him that we should sign a pre-nup bc at the end of the day, it has never been about the money and I understand that we should both be protected, BUT I don't feel that what he wants to offer me is fair at all.  Can someone please help me? And if you are going through the same situation, please explain under what terms you both are signing on?  (BTW, I am getting my own legal advice.)
  • FI and I will be signing a pre-nup. I have a trust fund from my father (killed in construction accident), inheritence, and I also own the house we live in. We have been together for over five years and I know we are parnters for life, but people change and I need to know that I will be able to take care of myself and any children I might have if something happens between us. Also we have two dogs that we got together, one in his name and one in mine.....they are like our children, and can't stand to be seperated from each other, so we are making sure that we will have shared custody of them!
  • We are getting a pre-nup. My dad is a judge and I am going to law school and work for the court systems right now so I have seen all there is to see in the way of divorces.

    However we don't feel the need to tell anyone but the lawyer that is drafting it. We don't have an "in case this fails" mentality, we are realistic and it is something between just us. No one else needs to think we plan on failing either. No one when they get married plans on failing yet half do.
  • We are signing a pre-nup - Separate attorneys to draft and review...one for him and one for me.  Neither of us have much now, and we are perfectly willing to split evenly. We are getting one purely to protect future inheritance.  Texas is community property state so everything gets split evenly, if it was earned during the marriage or mixed with community property.

     Inheritance is separate property in Texas but the income is community property and if you want to keep the principal separate, you have to move that income out at least once a year. Im in financial services and its a bit of a pain so we are going to get a prenup to designate separate prop income remains sep prop.

    More importantly, don't specify custody in a pre-nup (not sure you can but if you can).  You should not decide the future of children you don't have yet in an uncertain future. What if he becomes hooked on prescription drugs...or illegal drugs? Would you share custody with someone like that? What if you do? Don't you want him to be able to be a primary caretaker if you go off the deep end?  Leave that off...you want to fight over those issues during the time period in which they are happening, whether its convenient or not.

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