Wedding Woes

Prenup Questions

So as we were going to bed last night my fiance asked me if I would be upset if he wanted a prenup. Since neither of us have any significant assets. We do not own a home, both our cars are leases and he is in grad school so he has a decent amount of student loans, I was naturally curious as to why he would want one. We don't have any money and at the time we get married we probably still wont. Anyways his answer ultimately was he plans to make a substantial amount of money in the future and wouldn't want to pay to support me in the event of our divorce. So my question is, what is the point of signing a prenup when neither of us have any assets. Do they protect  assets that don't exist yet? Is it even worth the paying a lawyer to draw one up, because I really don't feel like it would be

Re: Prenup Questions

  • I'm with Pmeg on this. That reason gets some hard side eye.
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    mrsconn23
  • A lot of people 'plan' to make a 'substantial' amount of money...and it doesn't happen.  

    So cart; horse, chicken;egg, etc.  



    MesmrEwe
  • Yeah, just thinking about the power dynamic here and what doesn't get said...

    He may be thinking about if you file first (because IIIII would never leave you), then it's your "penalty/punishment" for leaving.

    If he filed first and prenup holds up in court...completely unencumbered.

    Who ends up with the better deal upon the dissolution of the marriage (if it ever happens)? The deck's kinda stacked to his favor.
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  • ^What they said.

    If you spring for a prenup, you EACH need a lawyer.

    And there's a difference between "my parents want to protect my inheritance' and "I have kids who need to have their assets protected" and "this is my lifeblood business I've poured myself into for 15 years" and "well, I want to make money and I don't want you to get any if you leave"

    One is protecting himself, the other is planning on being spiteful and vindictive.
  • I can see a good case for them when there are assets going into the marriage--like a family farm that they don't want to pass out of the family--or if there are kids involved.  But to say that you're not entitled to anything earned during the course of the marriage if you eventually divorce?  Nuh-uh. 
    tawillersmrsconn23MNNEBrideDreamergirl8812
  • .... so why do you want to marry this guy?

    I could absolutely understand wanting to protect yourself /your assets in the event of a divorce, but you don't have any. I don't know how debt would play into things, although I think if you do go ahead with getting one that you need to factor that in as well - he would be wholly responsible for his student loan debt. You also want to take in your role of the marriage - will you be a SAHW/M or is there just a significant difference in income - e.g. you work a minimum wage retail job, and he's going to be a doctor?

    Since you would be getting a lawyer to negotiate your prenup, you would want to make sure that you thought the settlement was fair and you were protected in case he decided to trade you in for a new model after he started making the big bucks. 
  • Asking the question doesn't make him a jerk. My fiancé asked me the same thing, and it comes from seeing friends getting screwed in divorce. Naturally, anyone who expects to make money would prefer not to be screwed. I ultimately talked my fiancé out of it but I had very good reasons, and he could see that I wasn't going to screw him if we got divorced (mainly, I wouldn't be entitled to much alimony anyway since I make almost as much as him). Point is, it's a totally fair question.
    weddingcactus
  • I discussed prenups with my husband.  I was more in your Fi situation I think, just finished school, student loans, high earning potential.  I brought it up because it is something that should be discussed, even if only for both parties to say "no not for us."  In the end Fi and I didn't draft one because after discussing, we realized that, while in a theoretical world I have a higher earning potential, we are both entering the marriage with nothing so any earnings I might make will come at a cost to the relationship that he will have to pick up (for example he will have to be available more for children if my schedule doesn't allow).  So I don't think your Fi is a jerk for asking but he has opened the door for you to have a good discussion about your future and financial relationship.  He has probably just heard too many horror stories and wants reassurance that you will not leave the marriage with more than he does.  But you will only find this out if you talk to him more about this, and as others have said, if you decide prenup you should both get lawyers and you should not sign anything you do not feel 100% comfortable with.
  • It's not the "what was said" it's the "how it was said" that fires off the warning flags if what you said is 100% accurate.  A LOT can change in the next 10 years about a marriage dynamic that might not have ever been thought of nor discussed prior to marriage. 

    The way you described it as being said sounds like he's not ready for marriage, which means you BOTH aren't ready yet.  Premarital counseling to discuss the finances amongst other married topics is probably a better idea because life changes and the hard questions should be discussed and reasonably worked out ahead of time.  What happens if he ends up working as the night manager at the local McD's and you get the $100K/yr job and you find he's less than faithful multiple times and decide enough is enough?  Or, he's making the big bucks but decides marriage just isn't for him and it was a mistake to get married in the first place.  What happens when kids are brought into the mix, or one of you loses your job, and one or both of you can't work for a period of time.  Resolve that there's a reason most states have "No Fault" divorces regardless of who files first.  And, like the PP have mentioned, talk to a skilled attorney as that is your best bet.  Heck, talk to a divorce attorney, they'll give you the school of hard knocks now so hopefully you don't have it later. 


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  • Heffalump said:
    Asking the question doesn't make him a jerk.
    Asking the question doesn't make him a jerk.  The jerk part is saying that anything he earns during their marriage is his, not theirs.

    Actually what he earns during the marriage doesn't that make it "theirs"? You can't split future assets. Only what you have, so his reason for wanting a pre-nup won't even work.

    I believe OP should look into the whole loans thing though. She may want to get a pre-nup that protects her from having to take care of his half of his loans in the event of a divorce (which hopefully wouldn't happen). Though I don't believe that works either because the loans are only in his name as well.

     

    OP should really see a lawyer. Just in case. It's worth the $1000 now or whatever compared to thousands later on.

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  • Please don't be offended that he asked. Although I don't agree with his reasoning that if he makes a lot of money during your marriage you shouldn't be entitled to it, I don't think it's a sign of doom and gloom for your relationship. You'd need to speak to a lawyer to see if what he's aiming to do is even an option, but do make sure that any assets you've both earned during your marriage will be split fairly if you divorce. 

    I had a moment of panic when I realized, while filling out divorce paperwork for my lawyer, that my ex-husband could have made a claim to all of my retirement savings and investments, including the stocks my parents bought with my birthday money when I was a kid and the IRA I started when I was 18, years before I met my ex-husband. Fortunately he didn't pursue it, but I'm tempted to suggest a prenup now with my FI because that's money I've been busting my butt to save.
  • breezzy33 said:
    So as we were going to bed last night my fiance asked me if I would be upset if he wanted a prenup. Since neither of us have any significant assets. We do not own a home, both our cars are leases and he is in grad school so he has a decent amount of student loans, I was naturally curious as to why he would want one. We don't have any money and at the time we get married we probably still wont. Anyways his answer ultimately was he plans to make a substantial amount of money in the future and wouldn't want to pay to support me in the event of our divorce. So my question is, what is the point of signing a prenup when neither of us have any assets. Do they protect  assets that don't exist yet? Is it even worth the paying a lawyer to draw one up, because I really don't feel like it would be
    To me this sounds like he is concerned about having to pay alimony in the event of a divorce, not that he's afraid of splitting the assets acquired over the course of the marriage. I personally do not see any problem with him asking the question or even worrying about this. I already make a substantial amount more than my fiance and I have wondered about the same thing. It's one thing to share the debt and earnings at the dissolution of a marriage, but alimony (not child support) seems like it can be an unfair burden when there is an earnings imbalance at the time of a divorce. While I have not discussed it with my fiance, I have considered having the discussion. Did you honestly tell your fiance how this discussion made you feel and express your concerns? I think it's important to be completely honest, but respectful and compassionate when discussing something a delicate as a prenup.
    MesmrEwe
  • natswildnatswild The F-f-f-rozen N-n-north (Northern Alberta) member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    If your FI tried to get a prenup set up saying that you get nothing in the event of divorce, that would not be accepted in court.  I suggest googling prenups, and what's involved.

    Something that's important to remember is that they are not just for possibility of divorce, but also in the event of death, making sure children are provided for, etc, and also, very important, that you can specify whether bills/loans/debts are separate or shared.

    My FI and I are doing a prenup, him because he had been through a divorce, and got raked over the coals, and me because I am a firm believer in being fair, although I have told him that I am 1000000 % against alimony, as I am well able to take care of myself (and I've seen too many women take extreme advantage).
    ChemFanatic25
  • natswild said:
    If your FI tried to get a prenup set up saying that you get nothing in the event of divorce, that would not be accepted in court.  I suggest googling prenups, and what's involved.

    Something that's important to remember is that they are not just for possibility of divorce, but also in the event of death, making sure children are provided for, etc, and also, very important, that you can specify whether bills/loans/debts are separate or shared.

    My FI and I are doing a prenup, him because he had been through a divorce, and got raked over the coals, and me because I am a firm believer in being fair, although I have told him that I am 1000000 % against alimony, as I am well able to take care of myself (and I've seen too many women take extreme advantage).
    Wouldn't that be a will?
  • natswild said:
    If your FI tried to get a prenup set up saying that you get nothing in the event of divorce, that would not be accepted in court.  I suggest googling prenups, and what's involved.

    Something that's important to remember is that they are not just for possibility of divorce, but also in the event of death, making sure children are provided for, etc, and also, very important, that you can specify whether bills/loans/debts are separate or shared.

    My FI and I are doing a prenup, him because he had been through a divorce, and got raked over the coals, and me because I am a firm believer in being fair, although I have told him that I am 1000000 % against alimony, as I am well able to take care of myself (and I've seen too many women take extreme advantage).

    All of this! I'm the same way. I worked hard to get to where I am today and the last thing I want to do is all of a sudden is take advantage of someone who has done the same. I'm proud of my indenpence. I understand that there are tons of situations but my case that wouldn't be.
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    klk111415
  • I just met with a lawyer about one.  Ours is pretty clear cut in that what is mine is mine, and what is his is his.  If he has a lot of student loan debt, and eventually you divorce, his debt is you debt.  I know that if he is finishing up school, it's in your interest to protect yourself from even having to take on his debt.  Prenups may be a romance killer, but they are meant to protect your finances.  In our situation, if we purchase a house together, the house is "ours" and will be split down the middle.  But my debt is mine, and his debt is his.  I just watched a friend go through a divorce and pay a huge amount of alimony to this girl and it just seemed really unfair for him to have to pay for her debts after she made him move across the country for her job.  He wasn't in a great financial situation after the divorce and paying off her debt really made his life difficult.  Had they had a prenup, that would have been avoided.  It just seems like a way to screw the other person over. 

    I found my lawyer off of craigslist and had him look over the document and explain it to me.  He told me it was a smart thing to do and that it's just going to protect us in the future. It pretty much lays things out in front of you and avoids a really annoying divorce process if that day would to god forbid happen.  

    Also, if you have kids- that is a totally different ball game.  Child support can't be part of a prenup.  
  • Oh and a will is totally different, also.  That is something you will want to work on for sure, especially if you have children. Even a living will is good to have.  

    And I was told in the case of your partner dying, you are guaranteed up to 1/3 of their assets no matter what.  It wasn't clear if that was included in the case of a divorce. 
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