Post # 1
For starters I’d like to say both myself and Fiance are totally on board with the idea of prenups, we have no qualms with them at all. But what we don’t know is, is there actually a point in us getting one? Will they even protect the things we care about protecting?
We’re both broke students. I’m from a poor family. My only asset is my 99 Honda Civic. Otherwise I have a not-insignificant amount of debt (school etc). I will be starting work before him so I’ll have a lot more income going into the marriage, but in reality it’s basically all going towards debt payment so I won’t have savings or anything.
He’s from a comfortable middle class family that has been able to provide him everything. His car is in their name and they pay for his tuition and his rent etc. He works so part time it’s basically not working. He does have some financial assets, I think mutual funds and a small amount of savings. He still has a few years of school to go so he won’t be bringing in any meaningful paycheques until a couple years into the marriage.
So we don’t really have much to protect going into the marriage, but we like the idea of protection. I think more specifically we like the idea that should all hell break loose, one side cannot lay claim to that which they did not earn, and one side cannot be stuck with burdens that they did not cause.
For example: say my debt situation doesn’t improve and then we divorce and I still have a lot of debt – I wouldn’t want that to affect him in anyway because it is not his debt even if it continues into the marriage. Or maybe he ends up with debt problems and it’s vice versa.
Other example: say one of us magically becomes super successful and makes a whole bunch of money. There is a certain amount of that that is fair to share, but honestly neither of us would think it’s fair to split that 50/50.
Other example: inheritance/gifts. If his family left/gave him (or my family somehow left/gave me) a bunch of money as inheritance, we wouldn’t think the other person deserves half of it as it would have been given specifically to just the one.
I don’t know if a prenup can even protect those things. Considering the cost of lawyers etc, is there a point in us getting one? What does the hive think.
Post # 3
@caybaybay: I think you should check out the laws of the state you currently reside in, some of the protections you want may already be in place.
For example, what you bring to the marriage is considered “individual” property until you do something to make it marital property (i.e. put it in a joint account, put joint money into it, etc).
As for earnings, usually any earnings after marriage counts as joint property. I’m not sure how easy it is (or if it’s even possible) to keep it segregated if it is earned after you are married.
As for gifts/inheritance from family, usually (again depending on the state) it is only property of the individual it is gifted to until that individual does something to make it joint property.
Darling Husband and I looked in to getting a pre-nup, but most of the protections we wanted we were already afforded by state law and it was going to cost $10,000 – $15,000 to get a pre-nup drafted and done.
I don’t know how the debt part works but I’d think it runs along similar lines as the asset part.
ETA: I am not a lawyer, this was just my personal experience.
Post # 4
Yes, because it could determine who gets what in assests that you aquire throughout the years. I don’t *think* it only divides/ stipulates what you have before you get married it can a should determine how stuff is divided that you WILL aquire.
Post # 5
Family law varies state-to-state, but usually property owned before marriage (or assets/liabilities before marriage) don’t become marital property when you get married. However, they can become marital property in a number of different ways. For example, if he got an inheritance and put it into a joint account, then it becomes marital property. If he puts it into his own account, then it’ll stay his. You can absolutely include the things you are concerned about in a prenup if you decide to have one.
Post # 6
That cost for a prenup sounds really high to me, I’d shop around for another lawyer if you really want one. I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you that when I was married the first time I wanted out of the marriage so bad that in my divorce decree I stated that I would take on all of the debt (which we incurred jointly, because when you are buying a new refridgerator- how do you really determine who benefits from that the most). The debt was only around $4,000, but it caused me a lot of credit issues that took 10 years for me to resolve and he got off scott free with no reprecussions.
I’m engaged now and I’ve been with my fiance for 11 years now and we are just now joining bank accounts/credit/debt, etc (I had a lot of trust issues where this was concerned as you can imagine). Anyway, he makes twice as much money as I do and it doesn’t matter, it all goes into a joint account and we pay our bills from it and if anything were to happen, I suppose we’d split things 50/50. I see no reason for a prenup in my case, or in most cases for that matter. You aren’t marrying royalty. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just saying that I don’t think it is going to do what you think it will and might be a huge waste of money that can be solved in a different way.
Good luck though.