Prenuptials

Ha! Bet you saw the title and thought I was making some big announcement, hey?

Ok – maybe not. But, just to clarify – I’m not getting married.

Somehow, we got on the topic of Prenuptial Agreements – discussing the pros and cons of having on in place. You can’t forsee the future – so is it a smart thing to have on in place in the unfortunate event of a break up, for whatever reason?

There are two schools of thought on it:

      Having a Prenuptial Agreement is basically saying that you have no faith that the relationship is going to last, and you’re planning it’s demise before it even really starts

    Or

      Agreeing to sign one is a good way to show him/her that you’re really not in it for the money. You agree to sign it as a way of saying “I love you for YOU, not for your money.”

Relationships break up for all sorts of reasons. You never enter into a relationship – much less a marriage, expecting it to fall apart. But 5, 10, 15, 20, … years down the road – there really is no forseeing what may or may not happen in the relationship. I think a prenuptial agreement is essential and smart. I think anyone refusing to sign one is just basically saying that the money is a bigger factor for them than they are willing to admit.

I think anyone going into a marriage, who has a substantial amount of capital going into the marriage, would be foolish not to have one in place. I know I, personally, would have to think twice about a guy who refused to sign into one with me – – and, conversely, I would have no problem signing one that he put together.

Maybe that’s just me being jaded? Maybe I’ve had enough (bad?) experiences with relationships in the past to know that there is no way you can predict it’s longevity – no matter how strong your feelings in the beginning.

Shit. Just. Happens.

If you really don’t expect the relationship to end – – why not sign it?

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19 thoughts on “Prenuptials”

  1. I call them a necessary evil. I don’t see them as anything but an insurance premium. And there are all kinds of creative things to put in one to make it beneficial to both parties.

  2. I wouldn’t be offended at all if my fiancee asked me to sign a prenup. Of course, that’s assuming that I’ll ever have a fiancee. As for me, that’s probably not something I would think of right now, unless he wanted it. Considering the fact that I’m a full-time college student working part-time and barely making ends meet, I don’t have a lot of capital to worry about. I don’t see why people get offended about it though. I think it’s only fair that if the marriage does break up that each party leave with what they had coming into it and split the rest. But that’s just me. Of course I know some people who would disagree.. the ones who say “The first time I’m marrying for money, the second for love.” To me, that’s just depressing.

  3. I had a pre-nup in my first marriage. The court basically said it was worthless. My former divorce attorney told me that, really, it’s more efficient to just not co-mingle funds. EVER.

    If you own property pre-marriage, do not, for any reason put anyone else on title.

    If you have your own bank account, do not, for any reason put someone else on as a signer.

    Make a will or living trust. That was her advice to me. But, then, I live in California. Laws may vary …

  4. I can see both sides of this and I agree to a certain extent.

    I think a prenup is fine if it only pertains to property, monies, companies, etc that were acquired before the marriage.

    I don’t completely agree with prenups that protect one person on future earnings and property that they might acquire with someone after they have married them.

    I have a friend, who not only started a company with her husband, her parents were the backers for their start up. They didn’t have a prenup, the business was in hisname only. After the divorce all she walked away with was a Company truck, child support, and no job. He walked away with the company, making 6 figure checks, and a pregnant secretary who had the job that my friend had once occupied.

    I don’t know about other states, but in Texas you can still protect yourself without the prenup. Just as Jeanette said, keep everything in your name and you’re as safe as one can get nowadays.

  5. Fortunatly neither me or my wife had a penny to our name when we met! If we were to break up I would not have any problem sharing everything we have, our lives are co-mingled as are our finances and possesions. The same thing with my ex wife, we split up the “assets” evenly and fairly, but then we really didn’t have a whole lot to worry about.

    I guess it depends on what you have when you go into the relationship, personally I would not find it a problem to either sign one or not have one at all.

  6. There is NO downside to Prenuptial Agreements.

    Your purposed dowside is exactly like saying having car insurance means you admit your a terrbile driver. Makes no sense.

  7. Since I’m about to face this within a few months, Lisa has nailed the 2 positions.

    I have a bit of capital saved up; she doesn’t. Signing a prenup, though, effectively sabotages the relationship, gives me an “out”. And if I really want an “out”, why would I want an “in”?

    One of the rewards of marriage is being able to fully trust someone.

  8. Thats a very good point Michael, really if you have any doubts about the relationship you really shouldn’t get married in the first place. It depends though if you have a substancial amount built up then it might be a wize move to make sure you are not being played in some elaborate sting (Ala Anna-Nicole Smith)

  9. I was just handed a pre-nup after a basketball game this past Sunday. We are getting married in June, and I “kind of thought” that this was going to happen..and thought I was going to be OK with signing it.
    Until my lawyer started to read the contract and pointed out some very “unpleasant” items/waivers etc.As my lawyer soon asked me “just what have you gotten yourself into here”
    Terms like “going back to a lifestyle to which she was accustom BEFORE ( and it was typed just like that) the marriage”. Has made me stop and think about my life before the marriage.
    I have a wonderful life…that includes BEFORE I met him.
    I own my own business,home,car and 2 dogs. All of which I had BEFORE him.
    There is no doubt my life with him has the potential to be wonderful,and much different then the life I have now… but this “contract” has made me wonder, just who does he think I am.
    I am fine and my life will go on with or without him.
    I do love this man so very much, but I love myself too.
    Pre Nups can be a good thing,and a sobering thing too.

  10. My wife and I have been married 10 years, not always good. She signed a pre-nup on my business assets and future earnings only, leaving everything else is marital and over the years has become fairly substantial making both of us wealthy regardless of the pre-nup. After two years of separation and 9 months of being back together, she is wanting a divorce if I don’t agree to terminate the pre-nup. In fairness I left the marriage bacause of a different woman and then she did not want to reconcile because of a different man. Although she has moved back in, she still has her rental house as her safe harbor. We are now at a stalemate. I won’t even consider absolving the pre-nup because of her refusal to give up the rental and she feels I am not commiting to the marriage because of the separate assets. While most people are arguing over money they don’t have, we are arguing over money that we have plenty of… Go figure. Pre-nups have added stress to our marriage since day one….

  11. Tony – sounds like a mess.

    Chris and I are getting married this June – – while our seperate assets are sizable, we’ve opted to forget the prenup and do the marriage.. ala carte! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck with your situation, though – sounds like it’s gotten pretty hairy ๐Ÿ™

  12. Lisa,
    In our case my wife had no assets and I had fairly significant assets with huge earning potential both as an employee and as a partial owner. So I made the decision to protect my ownership asset and future earnings frpm it. For 7 of the 10 years I co-mingled all company distributions with my regular earning so she is entitled to that portion, and she is worth 7 figures. I only started separating my “company stock” income from “our” income after our separation. Not sure what her real issue is at this point and I sure the hell don’t know what the right answer is. Best of luck to you.

  13. My boyfriend had proposed to me and we had just met a few months ago. I own 3 properties, two rentals. My boyfriend has nothing at all. I make more money than him. I was surprised when he proposed to me. My 14 year old daughter advise me to ask him to sign a pre-nup, but I have not had the got to discuss it with him. I have had bad relationships in the past. Please, I need your advise. Thanks.

  14. I asked my fiancee to sign a prenup on my existing assets before marriage and she said if she signed it that it would make it easy for me to leave her. She makes no more than $7000 a year income and I make $85,000. I offered her that our savings from combined marrital income will be split in seperate accounts so if our marriage disolved she would not be left without anything. She still wasn’t happy. I love her very much and don’t care how much she makes, but this really through me for a loop. Should I just “run” away from her now?

  15. After doing much research on the web, I have yet to see information that can help the lower wage earner “protect” him or herself. I think anyone who wants to have a family with their mate is wrong to request that the partner waive their alimony rights. My solution -get the pre-nup but don’t waive your rights… get that in writing.

  16. kookoo

    When a couple divorces, both need to support their own.
    A person has no right sitting on their ass living like a leech because she is the “lower wage earner. I’d never pay alimony no matter what some fat ass judge said. Law should be that maximum alimony can be noi longer than 3 months under any circumstances. If you cant find a job by then, your fault for not trying.

  17. You are a genius. If you asked me for one I would sign the dotted line. My ex-fiancee agreed to one when we were engaged (she actually brought it up the prior to our engagement), but ultimately she got mad about it and it was a contributing factor to the end of our relationship (amongst some other crazier things).

  18. My wife agreed to a prenup before we got preg and my proposal, than became preginant. She than did not want to sign. For 2 year we have been in a war of missery. She live with her mother and has our son. Is she in it for the money? She claim it shows no trust in her and hold back her love because of it she claims. I have alot of assets. She came in with nothing. I love her and my son. I am now in the middle of a divorce. If she loved me it would not matter one way or the other prenup or not. I am a good man, father, and provider to my family than has not lived with me all year. Pls if anyone can help me with your council.

  19. I’m in a position right now where I am with an older man, he is 52 and I am 33. We make fairly similar incomes, but he has a sizeable retirement fund and a house that is paid off. I have no assets/savings. Please folks, help me figure out what is fair if we move in or marry. I love him genuinely but the thought of a prenuptial makes me feel insulted. I guess I feel someone should love their partner enough to share half of everything they have if they are going to marry, and furthermore a prenuptial is basically telling the other person that they aren’t worth it. When you marry, I feel the best mentality is “whats mine is now ours” on both ends, even if roles were reversed. And that also applies if a divorce (God forbid!) ends up happening. A prenuptial is akin to saying “I love you but you not enough to share all of me…” And I am not a gold digger. I just think that when you marry, marriage is an act of sharing…and money shouldn’t be excluded!

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