Post # 1
My fiance and I have been engaged for a little over 4 months now. I have been struggling trying to plan our wedding – we live in Florida, the wedding is in Michigan. It has been very challanging and I will admit, i’ve been super stressed out, snippy, short, pretty much – a beast. My fiance travels for work and is only home 2 days a week… so basically, im on my own. The other day, we just finished talking about picking hotels for our guests to reserve and he just comes out and says… what do you think about a prenup? Mind you, we’ve already discussed how I felt about one way before we got engaged – the discussion was that I would never marry anyone who wanted me to sign a prenup – unless his family was very wealthy – then I would understand the need to protect family assets. Im my eyes, a prenup is a way to prepare for divorce. I come from a very large family, no prenups, no divorces. He on the other hand, comes from the total opposite… So I can understand his fear. I am truely upset, as is my family. If he thinks im going to leave after we are married, then why even bother getting married? I need some advice. I feel like things have turned for the worse. I don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t respect the vows we are about to take.
Post # 3
So sorry. Perhaps this is nerves on his part, since he has seen divorce in his own family. Are his parents divorced? If so, there could be even deeper issues with him. Maybe you can see a counselor to build a stronger relationship, so he doesn’t feel uneasy?
I could see why this bothers you. If it was me I would try to get to the bottom of it, before signing anything and before just calling it quits.
Post # 4
I’m all for prenups when one person has a lot of assets or is very wealthy and/or family stuff going on. I hate it to look like you’re preparing for divorce, but in reality, that’s life, isn’t it? Somebody is covering their butt. You don’t ever PLAN on divorcing, but let’s face it, nobody does when they get married!
We discussed having a prenup. I have a lot of family assets and a significant amount of wealth to deal with. When I floated it by him, he said “sure, that’s fine. I hope we never need it, so I don’t care if we have one”. So there’s the rebuttal argument to the argument that he doesn’t trust you, etc. There’s a spin you probably hadn’t considered before. We always get so defensive when WE are asked to sign a prenup, but we need to consider if the shoe was on the other foot. I’m not naive about my marriage. I never plan on having a divorce and I know our communication skills are strong enough to handle anything thrown our way. I also know that life is tough and someitmes a break up is inevitable. And in 20 years, if something hellish happens to us, I’d be foolish to piss away half the family fortune to a guy I’m no longer with, right? Boy my family would kill me =].
So if you’re protecting yourself with a prenup, you’re a bad person and not trusting. But on the other hand, if you have one AND need it, you’re smart, right? It’s really a double edged sword.
Why does he want one?
Post # 5
Oh and I will say it’s a lot easier to hash out a prenup on friendly terms so that everybody agrees than it is to have a knock-down-drag-out divorce.
We like to think we are exempt from these behaviors, but in reality, it’s not awlays the case. I’m not a skeptical person by nature, but Im not going to say that so and so loves me too much to *ever* hurt me. There are too many encore brides on here that will beg to differ and got blindsided.
Post # 6
Yeah, I agree that we all don’t plan on getting divorced, but it could happen and you need to protect yourself. Neither of us have a significant amount of wealth personally or in our families. But if we did, I would want a pre-nup, pure and simple.
Post # 7
Esj- I completely agree with you. Im in the same boat as you, having family assests and such. Luckily FI agreed to sign the prenup, stating that he would never want to take my family’s money, but that he understands it important to my family to have that piece of mind with the money.
Heatherlynn- I would suggest really talking to your FI about the situation. My family is very small, and my parents are divorced, after 20 years of marriage. I understand where he is coming from. Having divorced parents isn’t easy, and it brings up a lot of thoughts when it comes to your own marriage. Just understand where he is coming from, and just becuase you sign a prenup, it doesn’t mean he doesnt believe in the marriage, its just a precaution, since half of all marriages end in divorce.
Post # 8
JMHO … if someone felt strongly that I needed to sign a pre-nup I would walk.
FH’s family have fairly significant assets, and there are ways to protect them without making someone feel like their marriage is doomed to fail. They haven’t asked any of the potential spouses to sign a pre-nup.
Post # 9
How strongly does he feel the need for one? Maybe nerves are getting to the both of you … I mean, it could definitely be nerves with your stress levels elevated that he’s thinking you’re thinking it’s way too much. I would say this deserves a very long discussion … maybe even writing things down like the questions you may have for him in an effort to prevent an argument.
There’s a reason you’re engaged to him, I’m sure you love him very much and that he feels the same way – so I would definitely suggest figuring out why, first.
Even though I have always said I would walk away before signing a prenup … I don’t think the walking should be done quite yet.
Post # 10
I would say that it also depends on what state you live in. I’m not sure the laws around Florida, but in Pennsylvania, once we were married, what’s his is mine and what’s mine is his. It doesn’t matter what you had prior to getting married…Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that the assets will be divided on what is fair, not necessarily 50/50. So depending on if Florida is like that, a prenup wouldn’t do much good for him anyway.
But, I completely understand where you’re coming from. If my husband asked me to sign a prenup, I would be crushed. I agree with you in that he’s already dooming the marriage before it even starts. Lots of hugs…hope everything works out, and he comes to his senses.
Post # 11
When I asked why the need or the thought for a prenup now? He said that my behavior lately has prompted him to look into a prenup. I had asked what the prenup would be for… we both don’t have any assets worth fighting for, he explained that it would be so that if I left him, he wouldn’t have to pay alimony.
Post # 12
If he is asking for a prenup because of your current behavior, then that is really disconcerting. If he is gone five days a week, you must be stuck with the vast majority of the wedding planning from a distance and are probably pretty stressed out (in your situation I would be completely insane and a candidate for Bridezillas). I almost lost my mind and I was planning a local wedding, with lots of help from a really supportive groom.
Is there any room in your budget for a wedding planner? Sometimes they can pay for themselves if they know high quality low cost vendors to recommend.
In addition, you might want to consider couples counseling.
Also, if you choose to sign a prenup, make sure that you aren’t agreeing to waive alimony if you give up your job to raise children. If you choose to make career sacrifices for your family, you want to make sure that you are protected.
Post # 13
Whoa, ‘your behavior’? I think couples’ counseling is in order. It doesn’t sound like you both are communicating very well and this is a hot-button issue. A safe, neutral space with someone who can help both of you understand each other sounds like a very good idea. In the meantime, easier said than done, try not to discuss it too much?
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
It’s not a plan for a divorce. It’s an agreement to be fair to one another should a divorce happen by making plans while you love and are generous with each other, rather than when you’re both angry and hurt.
If you’re uncomfortable with one, you certainly don’t have to sign one, although I don’t the harm if it protects your interests as well. But think about it some more and try to be able to give a reasoned argument to go without one if you don’t want it… maybe your fi will understand.
Post # 15
I know there are a lot of misconceptions about prenups these days. I think the most important thing is to first figure out what your FI wants from the prenup. Prenups cover a lot more than who gets what in a divorce. Does your FI have a lot of family assets or a personal business that will remain his? Prenups can be used to make sure that debts/assets stay where they should belong – like the previous poster said, once you’re married many states consider all property “marital property” without consideration of who owned what before the wedding. Maybe he has a business with his brother and they don’t want a “silent partner” per se. Does he have a lot of debt? In that case, you could designate that his debt remains his responsibility. That could protect you and your future children from having to shoulder his debt. Do either of you have kids from another marriage? Prenups can be used as estate planning tools, making sure you can provide for your other kids, when a will can be overturned. Are you planning on quitting your job to raise the kids? A prenup can include provisions to compensate you for your interruption in your career while raising the kids. I’m not saying a prenup is right for everyone (or that I wouldn’t be a little hurt if he asked me for one), but give it a little more thought…it could be a really great method of protecting yourself. I know it’s hard to separate emotions for the “marriage” but you should look at this as a business arrangement as well. You’d never buy a business or merge assets with a company without protecting yourself…
Post # 16
Heatherlynn – I think both of you need to take a step back and remember why you became engaged in the first place. Obviously the stress of planning this wedding has gotten to you both. Your overwhelmed and acting out and he has no idea what to do with this new behavior.
The prenup is not going to fix either of these issues. I really suggest seeking out premarriage counseling. You both need to work these issues out together in a nonjudgemental environment. You need to work on how your stress affects him and he needs to learn how to handle you (not meant in a negative way, we all “handle” our SOs and vice versa).
It’s important for you to know how your actions affect him and it’s important for him to learn how to help you when you aren’t your fabulous self (we all can’t be amazing all of the time). What happens when you have kids and you get completely stressed – what is he going to do then? Or what happens if one of you gets a serious illness, etc.
This is not at all a criticism. It’s all just part of a growing relationship. Take this opportunity to strengthen your relationship and then see he still feels the need for a prenup.