Post # 1
Hi Bees –
So I’m coming into my marriage with some investments I was given from famiy (currently around $90K). My parents want me to get a prenup to protect this – my brother experienced a nasty divorce and lost half of his a few years ago.
Do any bees have experience with prenups and how did you approach your partner / how were you approached about it? I’m all for it, but don’t quite know how to bring it up with my FI in a way that won’t be offensive…
Thanks for the help as always, hive!!!
Post # 3
@tinyteapot: I was married before, and had a prenup and will have one for my upcoming marriage as well. They are a wonderful idea. A prenup gives YOU and YOUR FI the ability *if* you divorce, to decide how property, money, and other assets will be divided up. Otherwise you are subject to the marriage laws of your state and how a judge interprets those laws.
Simply approach the subject as you would any other legal or financial discussion. I assume you have also discussed wills, perhaps home or car ownership, how to invest your earnings – take the same approach you would to those.
Post # 4
I’m a total lily-livered chicken, but I’d blame it on “my parents wanting to guarantee my future”
Post # 5
my mom really wanted me too because she went through a divorce and wanted me to protect myself. i have assets and DH does not.
DH and I are open and comfortable discussing anything and everything. so i brought it up. he was open to it. he understood where I was coming from.
i called a few lawyers for estimates, it was expensive.
i asked a lawyer at my office, who suggested i write up a contract and have it notarized. it is legal. she would look over it.
we ended up not doing anything.
my state is a separate property state. DH’s name is not on the house or any of my investments. so pretty much everything i had before the marriage would still belong to me in case of divorce.
Post # 6
@ajillity81: You are probably aware but I think it is important to recognize that if you are both living in the house and are using money earned during the marraige to pay off the house your husband is entitled to half of the house minus the money you put into it before the wedding.
Post # 7
@tinyteapot: I’ve discussed pre nups with my FI back when we were just dating. I brought it up in the context of state property laws – essentially, we all have pre-nups as in the state default divorce laws.
I’m personally not into the government regulating my private life (i.e. property division) but I’m also a law abiding citizen. In the case of divorce, a prenup gives the state guidance as to property division, so judges don’t have to follow the state default divorce laws.
If you believe marriage is forever, than having a prenup will never take effect, so it’s the same as not having one. However, not having one means that you agree with the state’s laws. So we talk about getting one as a way of asserting ourselves legally.
FI was not offended and appreciated that it was a way for us to do what’s right for us, instead of going with whatever our state lawmakers decided.
Post # 8
@tinyteapot: I am probably weird in that I don’t think there is anything offensive about a pre-nup. It doesn’t mean that you think you are going to get divorced any more than buying fire insurance means you think your house is going to burn down. It’s a “just in case” measure and protecting family assets is a great reason for a pre-nup.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
In addition to covering current assets, a pre-nup can also cover items such as whether or not you will be responsible for each other’s medical expenses (which could potentially bankrupt someone, in a castrophic event.) A pre-nup can also cover how you will take care of finances- will you split household costs 50/50, or as a percentage of your incomes, for example. So it can be a very good conversation piece for how you financial life will be.
You can find templates, and have a lawyer review, then have it notarized at a bank.
Post # 10
I asked my husband how he felt about it. He knew I owned my home and had lots of investments and savings. He said it was fine, as long as what was his remained his as well. Which was all I wanted – I wanted my 401K, money, home, etc to remain mine and his to remain his so neither of us are financially ruined in the event of divorce.
I spoke with a lawyer friend, she drew it up for me, he reviewed, we both signed, and had a notary sign each page, returned it, and we were set. My friend did it for free as a gift, but it can be about 12-1500 I believe to draw one up.
Some people will say that a pre nup means your love isnt ‘real” or you dont trust your partner. But it’s better to make these decisions when you’re both happy, in love, kind, then in the throes of divorce. Anger makes people do things they wouldn’t otherwise. You don’t THINK he/she will go after your retirement…but they might if they’re that mad. With a prenup, you don’t have those things to worry about. You can move on with your life more easily – which will certainly speed the healing process.
I recommend them for anyone who has significant assets!
Post # 11
Money is not a taboo between FI and I. When we discussed between signing a common-law contract or signing a marriage contract, I told him one of the big differences between the 2 is that with the wedding he’ll be required to give 50% of everything he owns, including retirement funds, if we ever divorced (which he wouldn’t have to do with a common-law contract unless we added this specific demand on it). Since he’s the only one who has money for retirement right now, and they are his only savings, I wanted to make sure he knew upfront and he told me he was okay with it.
If he told me he wasn’t, we would have included a clause for me to resign from this money if we ever divorced.
I think every couple should discuss assets and splits before they get married, and sign papers. If you own a house, anything. It’s important to decide when things are going good, because if it gets bad, it’s rarely the best time to negociate.
Post # 13
@tinyteapot: I’m 100% for prenups. I hate this concept that “I don’t want to enter my marriage thinking that it’s going to fail”, or “I wouldn’t be marrying my DH if I didn’t plan on it being forever”, or my personal favorite “Neither of us are the vindictive kind of people, in the even of divorce it’ll be civil”.
No one enters their marriage thinking it isn’t going to last. Who knows what reasons might cause a divorce, and why wouldn’t you plan to protect yourself? I know plenty of women who enter into a marriage and 20 years down the road they’re getting divorced……and the sweet person I knew suddently turned into a monster ready to take their spouse down in flames.
Seriously though, I think it’s totally acceptable. I would be MORE concerned about a partner who refused to sign one.
DH and I had been together over 12 years when we got married, since high school. Everything we’ve aquired we’ve gotten together as a couple, so for us personally, we didn’t have a need for it. I do stand to inherit some, but it won’t be for MANY years and because it’s not a huge amount (it’s a good amount, but we aren’t talking millions here) I’m okay without a prenup. Thata being said, had I already inherited or had assets before we married (or my DH), I would be totally okay with a prenup.