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August 2010 Weddings

Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?

I know it's a very personal question, but we seem to cover all topics here.

FI have talked about it and don't think we will.  I don't know if thats the smartest option, but I thought I would stick my neck out and see what is the 'norm' here.
Stella
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Re: Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?

  • I work in family law & we do very few prenups. If you do one you need to start asap -- you both need attorneys too.They can be good if done right, but if you just write something on a piece of paper & sign it with no legal advice it's pretty much useless. 
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  • We're not, but not necessarily for the reason you put.  Primarily because neither of us has anything that the other could take.  And partially because we both feel like even if something did happen, when we get married what's mine is his and what's his is mine.  So if we got a divorce, we should split things, even if we won't feel like that at the time.  It's impossible for us to tell if that thought would be the same if one or both of us had any assets, because we don't.  
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  • No, but I'm not changing the TItle of the house that I bought on my own, that would remain mine if something ever happened, God-willing it wont... as it seems everyone around us is divorcing...
  • rktorkto member
    100 Comments
    we should - I have the money, he has the debt. 
    But, truly - we have been common law for 3 yrs, if we broke up now regardless of a ring on my finger, he could sue me for half.
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  • It's funny you are asking... a week ago Fi and I spoke about it and we are both sure that we do not want it. As cheedy as it sounds, we really believe we will be together forever. This is also the only thing that was discussed in our pre-cana that we both agreed on. They said that a pre-nup is your way out... they compared it to a house where, through the front door you see the back door - your back door to run away from problems and break up... I kinda agree with that.
  • edited May 2010
    Does the pre-nup over-ride common law?
    We have single assets and single debt as well as joint assets and debt.  We (hopefully) would never try and touch each others assets made before we met, so it would only be splitting what we now amass together.

    I like what PP said, people seem to divorce too easily.
    Stella
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  • we had thought about it for a long time, but ended up agreeing that what's mine/his will be ours.  however, we're both changing our wills to protect each other just in case.
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  • In Response to Re: Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?:
    Does the pre-nup over-ride common law? We have single assets and single debt as well as joint assets and debt.  We (hopefully) would never try and touch each others assets made before we met, so it would only be splitting what we now amass together. I like what PP said, people seem to divorce too easily.
    Posted by Kathiiy
    Not every state has a common law statute. NJ is a 50/50 state so when you get married "what is yours is mine" really does apply. However if you contributed to a retirement plan before you married he wouldn't necessarily be entitled to that portion during the divorce. Everything in family law is negotiable though. In NJ you can do a collaborative divorce which means you really don't use the court system & settle everything on your own in which case you can decide to divide things however you please as long as you both agree.
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  • Nah, what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine. lol ;)
  • We are not.  I think that a pre-nup sort of puts a little gray raincloud over your marriage from the get-go, as if you don't believe you will survive all the difficult times that may come your way.

    I know that sounds naive, but I really believe my FI and I will fight to stay together through everything.  I believe in the power of positive thinking, and constant communication as being the way to get through even the worst of times. Besides, we don't have incredible wealth to fight over!  Fighting over moeny sounds so...petty.  Frankly, I've seen some ugly divorces within my extended family, and a pre-nup doesn't seem to be that helpful when you're battling with good lawyers.

    Tinydancer, you must have an opinion on the merits of a pre-nup.  Do you think they are necessary?
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  • In Response to Re: Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?:
    We are not.  I think that a pre-nup sort of puts a little gray raincloud over your marriage from the get-go, as if you don't believe you will survive all the difficult times that may come your way. I know that sounds naive, but I really believe my FI and I will fight to stay together through everything.  I believe in the power of positive thinking, and constant communication as being the way to get through even the worst of times. Besides, we don't have incredible wealth to fight over!  Fighting over moeny sounds so...petty.  Frankly, I've seen some ugly divorces within my extended family, and a pre-nup doesn't seem to be that helpful when you're battling with good lawyers. Tinydancer, you must have an opinion on the merits of a pre-nup.  Do you think they are necessary?
    Posted by branz7

    I mean we rarely get people who have them & when we do they are usually poorly done. I do think if you have a good divorce lawyer, the prenup isn't going to help you all that much. We have clients who have them and they still spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on messy divorces. Divorce is what people make of it -- it can be relatively painless or it can be years of fighting over petty things. 

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  • Thanks for the inside scoop Tiny! Good question Kathiiy.  I wonder if any August brides ARE doing it?  I'd be really interested to hear their reasons :-)
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  • fi thought he wanted one for a very long time but then we did a little research and realized that we didn't even need one. it made me happy b/c they do feel pessimistic.


  • We are not. We're making the choice to get married and when we say "til death do us part" we mean it. I do know of one married couple that has a prenup and it is because they were married knowing that they would probably get divorced someday. She gets a lump sum and the ring, and that's it.
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  • LittlinLittlin member
    1000 Comments
    We aren't doing one because neither of us really has anything of value at this point to call our own.  We rent our apartment (hopefully that will change very soon after the wedding - yay house hunting), we don't own our own business, and we don't have a lot of assets at this point.  If something were to happen, I hope that we can be reasonable enough to figure it out on our own.
  • dew3162dew3162 member
    500 Comments
    Wow, looks like I'm the only one.  Yes we are having one and I hate it but basically, if I want to marry him I have no choice.  I have known this from very early on in our relationship and it's something that I thought I was OK with but now that it's getting closer and his attorney is working on it, I'm getting a little freaked out about it.  I told him I feel like he's cursing our marriage from the beginning.  It's a very touchy subject around here so we really don't talk about it much but I'm just worried how I will react when the papers are in front of me.
  • In Response to Re: Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?:
    Wow, looks like I'm the only one.  Yes we are having one and I hate it but basically, if I want to marry him I have no choice.  I have known this from very early on in our relationship and it's something that I thought I was OK with but now that it's getting closer and his attorney is working on it, I'm getting a little freaked out about it.  I told him I feel like he's cursing our marriage from the beginning.  It's a very touchy subject around here so we really don't talk about it much but I'm just worried how I will react when the papers are in front of me.
    Posted by dew3162
    this is pretty much how I felt when we were about to set the wheels in motion to get ours.  i had talked to my parents about it and my mother had a meltdown (quelle surprise).  i got so anxious about it that I didn't sleep for weeks, it was that overwhelming sense of ruin and setting ourselves up for disaster.  But it was always just assumed (mostly because his mother put the bug, rather surgically grafted the bug into his ear) that we NEEDED one.  And finally when we had the last conversation about it, I kind of just grew a pair and said "what the f^&k do we need one for?  why is your mother so damned scared that I'm going to run off with your money, their money, etc?  if you think I'm the kind of person who's going to do that or anything bad to you, i will give back your ring right now and that's that".  That's when FI told me he didn't want one either and that it was his mother's doing (this mostly stems from FSIL and her husband's marriage, which is neither here nor there).  So we (he) told his parents to bugger off with the prenup decision made for us.  So what we're doing instead is something a lot more productive, and redrafting our wills to include each other in the case of the unthinkable. 
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  • In Response to Re: Dirty, Personal Question - Are you doing a Pre-Nup?:
    Wow, looks like I'm the only one.  Yes we are having one and I hate it but basically, if I want to marry him I have no choice.  I have known this from very early on in our relationship and it's something that I thought I was OK with but now that it's getting closer and his attorney is working on it, I'm getting a little freaked out about it.  I told him I feel like he's cursing our marriage from the beginning.  It's a very touchy subject around here so we really don't talk about it much but I'm just worried how I will react when the papers are in front of me.
    Posted by dew3162
    You also need an attorney too to look over everything too. 

    I think the issue with pre-nups that I have is it's basically a divorce agreement before you get married & before you know what you married life will be like. 

    For example, you could give up rights to your husband's business, but what if you worked there throughout the marriage -- you'd probably feel differently when you get divorced. 

    Also even if financials aren't a problem -- custody could always become a big issue down the road.

    I've also learned anything can happen so it's impossible to know how you'd react in certain circumstances until they happen to you. 
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  • aweilbaaweilba member
    1000 Comments
    We are not for a few reasons.  The first is that I feel like with a prenup you're expecting your marriage to fail at some point.  It's like you're almost saying that, "We know this isn't going to work eventually, so let's cover our butts before that happens."  I just don't really think that's a way to start a happy marriage.

    The second is that neither of us really has anything of great value at this point in time, so there wouldn't be much of a reason.  We already share almost everything, so when we're married what we have separately becomes ours. I understand celebrities and very rich people that get them since they have a lot of material and monetary items that could be lost in a split, but we don't have anything worth fighting over at this point.
  • We talked with our preacher about pre-nups and living wills.  He said (and we already knew) that we wouldn't need a pre-nup.  Neither of us has a significant amount of assets.  What would I take, his PlayStation?
    But soon after the wedding, we are going to a lawyer to have living wills written up. 
  • We aren't getting one. I wanted one because he's still a student (and he's racking up way more student debt than most) and I'm working and in a very stable, fast rising career. He'll still be in school for about a year and a half after we're married and so I do think the most rational choice would be a pre-nup because he's got the debt and I'm funding his life. He, however, views it like most others do. He thinks it automatically doom our relationship. I can understand that and it really ruins a lot of the romance. He told me that he absolutely refuses to sign one and after a lot of talking I've agreed. I still feel stupid sometimes for not deciding to make one, but I can see that things change and we really have minimal assets at the moment.

  • Ken&CassKen&Cass member
    500 Comments
    edited June 2010
    I own my home, but don't plan on getting one. Right now the value of it is just about what I owe on it, so it's kind of hard to write a pre-nup saying that I get to retain the equity if anything happens because there is no equity even though I've been in it for 5 years! The FI says if I do get a pre-nup saying the house is mine then he is no longer obligated to help me make payments on it.
    Undecided
    At this point the only reason I could see getting one would be to protect the division of debt in the case of a divorce or something, and that seems pretty silly since neither of us have any debt except for our cars and don't plan on incurring any.
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  • mjlkhkmjlkhk member
    1000 Comments
    CA is a 50/50 state, so technically a pre-nup would be a great idea, however.......neither FI or I have any real giant assets. He has his own company, but my name will go on that for tax breaks....so I can't think of anything else we would need to fight over in a divorce............I am sure there would be something.

    FYI - in case you think of doing one though, consider time spent going to school. In my paralegal undergrad studies I learned.......If you go to school full time and your spouse supports you during that time, that spouse (who was supporting you) is entitled to a portion of your income for their sacrifice. NO JOKE..........probably a California thing, but...............................
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  • Pre-nup was never discussed with any seriousness between FI and I. At this point, we have nothing to split up except maybe out debt  lol

    He said the only way he would ever want a pre-nup is if he was already rich and then we met and married (never know who's a gold digger! lol). So I asked what if you get rich before we get married and he said i've already hung in this long and I was gonna marry him when he was broke so he wouldnt ask for one. He has faith in me!  lol

    I agree with tinydaner that you never know what is going to change in your relationship overtime. The pre-nup might not be what you want if a divorce rolls around. But I knock on wood that none of us ever have to go through one! I don't want to be discussing anyone's divorces on TN!

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  • We arent doing one.  We dont have anything of value that we would need a prenup for.  He does have some student loan debt but my feelings are that once we are married its my debt too.  I want everything shared 50/50 so that means i have to take the good - his higher salary and the bad - his school debt. 
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