Post # 1
FI was actually the one to bring it up prior to the engagement, so it isn’t too emotional for either of us. But how do I go about getting a prenup? Is a DIY version that is approved at the end by both of our lawyers ok? We don’t have lawyers so we would each have to get one.
It is more to cover myself with the savings I have, inheritance I will get from my grandmothers and parents when they pass, and any money I will put into the house we plan on buying, the house will probably be pre-wedding. FI and I both agree on getting one, although my parents would also insist. Whatever we make after the wedding will then be split.
Has anyone done their own prenup? Or have suggestions on how to get one done by a lawyer?
Also as a side note, as my parents are also paying for the wedding, rehearsal etc and just due to their nature, they going to be quite involved in the wedding planning. Any suggestions on how I can get his mom involved? (His parents are divorced, and there is a bit of a language barrier with me and his mom. She lives 5 hrs away.)
Post # 3
@jmLL: This can’t be construed as legal advice, but it sounds like you should get a prenup through a lawyer, if only for the part about purchasing a home. Generally, your inheritances will be protected and will not be distributable UNLESS you put it into a marital asset or marital account down the line. However, you’re saying that you and your FI are going to buy a house – this would arguably be a house bought “in contemplation of marriage” and therefore, at least in New Jersey, he could try to argue that he is entitled to distribution of the whole thing, regardless of who put the initial money into the house. A proper prenup could indicate that you get your down payment back prior to distribution of the remaining value of the house. Your savings would be safe as long as you didn’t put it into a marital asset or account. In order to protect yourself from the intricacies of the law in your state, I flat out would contact a lawyer and tell them you want to discuss the possibility of a prenup. You would both have to contact separate lawyers. Google “family lawyer” or “divorce lawyer” along with the name of the county where you live. Make sure to give yourself time before the wedding so neither of you could claim duress (forced into signing – particularly because the wedding date is close) down the line. Good luck.
With his mom – send her pictures and ask her opinion (even if you already have opinions of your own), and show her things as they get done. My hubby’s mom lives 5 hours away but we made sure to send her pictures of the invitations, flower samples, dress fittings, etc. It made her feel excited and included 🙂
Post # 4
Talk to a lawyer. I just did my Will and there is SO much to understand, not just the simple stuff. You need lawyers to look over it and draft it.
Post # 5
I would recommend that you use the services of a lawyer.
I would also recommend however, that the two of you talk everything out and come to agreement, as much as you can, before you see the lawyer. This will save hours of talking, and billable time. Put what you have agreed upon in writing to take to the lawyer. She will check it over for you, make sure you haven’t missed anything, and thhe whole process should be fairly painless.
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
@jmLL: Get a lawyer. I don’t know if you are in Canada or the States or elsewhere. However, in Canada there are certain clauses you can have and others that would be automatically void (ie. what is included/not included in NFP (Net Family Property) division in the case of divorce – including inheritance, child rearing, anything to do with the matrimonial home, etc.). A good lawyer will make sure that what you want is in it and will also give advice. They will also know how to word it so everything is “judge ready”. I would also advise that if it is mainly one of you that is going to a lawyer go to another for Independent Legal Advice.
If you do decide to construct one without a lawyer please look at applicable divorce laws to become familiar with those voidable clauses. I really reccomend you going to a lawyer to make sure you are actually getting what you want in your Marriage Contract.
ETA: PP was right, do come to some sort of agreement with your FI about what you want (write a list) so that you go in with your list. This means that the legal fees will be lower (unless you get a lawyer that charges a flat fee for drawing up marital contracts – which is atypical where I am).
I will be getting a marriage contract. Since I work in law and deal with Wills, Estates, and Family law I’ll be using another lawyer in the firm because I don’t want my SO to ever think that I am constructing something that will benefit me, and only me since it is mostly in legalese.
I also agree, send photos to his mom. Get help from your FI to get to know basic vocabulary so you can translate some of it for her.
Post # 7
@LissaBeans: Thank you! I never would have thought of the “in contemplation of marriage” part. And thank you for the MIL part too. 🙂
@julies1949: Thanks! I guess I do need to think ahead of time what I would want it to say- there is just soo much stuff that could go in there.
@laceydoilies: Thank you! That was helpful!