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Lawyers / Law Students: Are you signing a pre-nup?

I'm in law school and I have worked in a family law firm, where I have witnessed first hand the sh1t shows that can ensue during divorce / custody battles.

I think pre-nups are very important, but when I mentioned to a few of my close girlfriends that I would be seeing a lawyer to draft a pre-nup, they looked at me as if I had 4 heads, or as if I am a cold-hearted bitch. 

I don't get it. It's not that I think my marriage is going to fail, I just hate the thought of the government dictating my life (and my fiance's life) should we decide to split. Further, fiance has a fat pension (he's a teacher in Canada), so I also think it's important for him to protect that as well. My dad also has a lot of money and property, and I want to protect my inheritance. It may seem cold, but I'm just trying to be realistic. 

I don't know. I just always feel  like I have to justify and explain myself when people ask me why the hell I am getting a pre-nup. My law student friends seem to agree with me, but my non-law student friends think I'm crazy. 

Also (sorry for the ramble), I would be interested in hearing the logistics surrounding your pre-nup? Did you go to one lawyer together? Because I will be a lawyer in a little over a year, I think it's vital to ensure there is no unconscionability, so I will be going to a lawyer first to draft up a pre-nup, and then I will put a clause in the pre-nup which makes it mandatory for my fiance to get his own independent legal advice to ensure that the pre-nup is fair in his eyes. 

I plan on discussing the following things. Think I am missing something?: spousal support, division of assets, mat. home, custody (I want joint), mandatory mediation, inheritance, pets (I get them and they are not to be separated.)

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Re: Lawyers / Law Students: Are you signing a pre-nup?

  • You know, my sister is in law school and suggested that I get one, the only thing is that my fiance and I have no property or anything, so I don't see a point. Plus as far as I'm concerned, marriage is forever, so I don't need a "just in case." It sounds as if you and your fiance have some property. Also in the case of a second marriage, it's understandable. 
  • i'm a law student and soon-to be lawyer and i'm not getting a prenup. we've discussed it casually/jokingly and i know it would crush my fiance. if we were to ever get divorced, i'd be the one to lose out financially, and i guess i'd rather take that risk than force a prenup on him, especially if i don't think i want one. also, there's the laws as they are aren't totally absurd. i can understand and live with them.
  • edited March 2010
    I am also a law student focusing in family law (one more month to graduation-thank God). In my experience, pre-nups are important for a small group of people who have property interests and family concerns that are a little off the beaten path, so to speak. My FI and I do not have children, and we do not have assets that generate substantial income; in our jurisdiction, there is nothing that a pre-nuptual contract would help us with that our domestic relations code does not already provide for. I have  no idea about Canadian law, but in Colorado and throughout most of the United States, inheritance is not marital property, even if it is acquired after marriage. So for me, if I was expecting a substantial inheritance (not to my knowledge), a pre-nup does not afford me any additional protection.

    Edit: also, in the states clauses that address child support and custody are not enforced.
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  • I am not in your boat, as we both pretty much have nothing, but I would say if you both agree to it, it is just fine to do.  I do believe that marriage is forever, and I am sure you do as well, considering you are getting married.  As a daughter of devorced parents though, it would have been nice for me and my two siblings if they had had a plan ahead of time.  you never know what is going to happen, and as long as your future husband is not the one looking at you like you have four heads, I don't see the problem with it.  It is not like you are going into this with the intention of draining all of his assets, rather just going in protecting what each of you already have.  If I had anything worth protecting, I would think it was a wise idea.  Good luck
  • I am in Law School right now. I am trying to figure this out right now. We have no property right now, but that does not mean we won't have any in the future. The only problem is legal council. I have the upper hand bc I know what I'm looking for and he does not have any real knowledge of the law or a lawyer. I'm not comfortable starting out my marraige like that. So, I'm not sure how it is going to work out. But we have some time...
    I'm glad someone else is looking into it - bc it seems as if all my friends and family think they are just for the rich and snobby (no offense to anyone meant at all). It's me planning for failure. That's not true. Nor is it bad for the "everyday" person.
  • Well, I think that pre-nups are really only neccessary for people of substantial wealth, have kids, etc. Neither my fiance nor I have finished school yet, so we don't make any substantial amount of money. Neither of us have been married before. Neither of us have kids. We have practically nothing to either of our names, so there's nothing really for us to protect. Plus, neither of us really believe in the "D word." It's just not an option for us.
  • I am a law student, and I actually didn't even think about it.  But no, I won't be getting one.  We have been together since we were 19 years old and we have been broke together and suffered massive debt together.  He has followed me around the state, and we have taken significant financial hardship to be together.  He even put finishing his college degree on hold to help me finish my degree(s).  We deserve to share success together.  It'll be me that will take the financial loss should we divorce (his family is extremely poor and at the moment he works in retail).  Plus, I intend to work in public interest law or to teach, so I won't have that much money.  I am definitely not going to ask him to sign a pre-nup. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with doing that especially if you two are in a different position with more money at stake.  Especially if he is ok with it, I wouldn't feel bad. 

    And yes, I would suggest you each have your own attorneys - just in case, it will save it from challenges later. 
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