Prenups – Help me process my feelings

posted 11 months ago in Emotional
Post # 16
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

When I divorced my first husband my therapist said something like “you know who you marry but not who you divorce”

My ex husband is an excellent man, he really is. But he was upset because I didnt want to stay married anymore, and he said (but never acted upon that) “I am gonna take everything you have fron you”

I am a teacher so my salary is not “wow” and during our marriage he provided for most of the things in our home; however, my parents have money and several properties, shares of companies and I dont know what else under my name. But those things are not mine, at least not yet. However, in q moment of anger he wanted to take things from me that were not even mine.

just because I was young, in love, amd trusted him (which I still do, I trust him, he is a good man)

at the end he didn’t fight any of those things but I opened the door to that possibility for not asking for a prenup.

Dont feel bad for this, he is just being practical and maybe he is doing for the same reason I should have done it. Many of the assets under my name are not even mine!!

Post # 17
Member
39 posts
Newbee

I could really relate to your post. Let me share my experience as I was in a very similar situation a few years ago: A poor graduate student from a lower class family with an engineer partner making more money than I thought I’d ever make. He also has a trust fund and family with real estate and a global company with his family name on it. He will inherit 100%. 

From the beginning, I told him I’d be ok with a pre-nup if the terms were agreeable. To me, that meant the pre-nup could only protect his interest in his family business, nothing else. Any real estate that became marital property would not be protected. Cash and investments made during marriage would remain marital property – half mine. Previous investments are already separate property as long as he cared to maintain it that way. This was because one day I might leave my career to become a Stay-At-Home Mom (at his request) and I want to be protected. 

Before he thought about it seriously, he suggested that his family “gift” me a certain amount before marriage to protect me and then I sign an iron clad pre-nup. I was ok with that if it was enough to last me forever. (Maybe that is an option for you?) As we approached marriage, he decided last minute to forgo any pre-nup. And you know what? A few years after grad school, I now out earn more than he did when we met and told him HE could be a SAH husband if he wants. But anyway, if we were to get a pre-nup, I would’ve been totally fine with that, I already talked to an attorney and we were ready to negotiate it to death. 

Good luck!!

Post # 18
Member
585 posts
Busy bee

Prenups can be a way to protect YOU. It isn’t just about keeping his assets from you. It’s also defining which YOU have a right to. I think that it is good to make decisions about these things when you both want the best for each other to make it as pain free as possible if anything happens. It’s a gift to your future selves you never hope to need. 

 

(And I say this as the person who make less money in my relationship)

Post # 19
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Once you’ve read through these replies and thought it over, you can look for legal advice.

A prenup is a great way to show, as you say, ” I don’t want his money. I have never wanted his money “, while also protecting yourself. Make sure that your support of him and your contributions to your shared life will be valued and protected.  (It isn’t just about money you have now, but about future earnings too.) He has to sign something too, and it should be fair to both of you. Take this as a chance to discuss your expectations of your marriage and future life together, and make sure youre both on the same page.

While you’re at it, talk about a will. Sadly, 100% of marriages end in either divorce or death. If you’re hoping for “till death do us part”, talk about what that might entail too.

 

Like others have said, we dont plan for or expect tradgedies, but we do make plans for just in case. Bbn

These are tough conversations, but good to have before marriage!  Just treat each other respectfully.

Post # 20
Member
6237 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

marydbee :  All of what you’ve said makes sense. I have to say, though, that whole future kids’ names (and your name) things makes me think you have power dynamic issues in other areas of your relationship which exacerbates the financial power imbalance. It sounds like your Fiance is really good about tracking his own agenda and how he thinks things should be but that you aren’t necessarily advocating for yourself in the same way and that would definitely make me uncomfortable because you’re giving things up to keep the peace and he seems to be over there scoring “wins”.

Post # 21
Member
640 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I own much much more than my SO does and I would like a prenup also.  Anything we earn during the marriage (say they house goes up $5,000) in value, then half is his.  Whatever I have in investments are mine except the value it goes up during the marriage.  Whatever my parents will to me is mine unless he invests money or labor into maintaining it then half of that value is his.

There’s truly not a good time or place to bring it up and I’m sorry if you’re upset about the conversation.  Things happen and people change, sure Rom Coms make living happily ever after 100% a reality but things do happen.  

You should be protected in the prenup and you’ll have to get a lawyer anyway to make it legal and they will help you with that.  

Post # 22
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

I actually think him bringing it up during counseling was the perfect time to do so. Not sure why you and a few other posters are taking issue with that. A neutral third party there to guide you both through a new revelation is the exact purpose of going.

The idea of having a plan if a marriage fails is obviously emotional, but as everyone is saying, it also protects you. I would find your own counsel and get some clear advice on what you should ask for/include to protect yourself.

Post # 23
Member
4533 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

TwilightRarity :  read the last update and was just coming to say the same thing as you but saw you beat me to it!

OP, a prenup shouldn’t be this upsetting especially if it had been mentioned before by him. You said that you didn’t want a dime from him and it sounds like money isn’t a motivation for you. The point that you are having such a strong reaction points to most probably an underlying factor in the dynamic of your relationship that doesn’t sit well for you.

I didn’t get hubby to sign a prenup because he’s welcome to half of our combined assets accumulated in our relationship because they are equally his as much as they are mine. My family assets are set up in a trust format that has several directors that have to be blood and to vote on outcomes. My parents however did give us a lump sum that was enough to buy another investment property. They wrote up a clause that if we broke up the original lump sum had to be returned to them in full and the equity was ours to split equally. I had this conversation with my husband when this came about a few years ago and his answer was ‘yeah no problems that is extremely generous and we are fortunate that they are doing this for us. We basically earn extra income from rent without having the outlay of paying the rental off because we own it outright’ If we had underlying issues where one of us felt undervalued and unheard or felt like we weren’t equals then I could see something like this creating issues. He doesn’t feel this way and financial stuff has never been an issue for us.

I think you need to bring this up in counselling because I think you are not being considered an equal and your valid opinions are not being heard. Changing names, being expected to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, moving locations etc are important things that should be compromised on from both parties and not constantly dictated to one… 

Post # 24
Member
8454 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

marydbee :  

I really feel for you OP. I can see prenups are sensible ( not common where I live though , I never knew anyone ever have one. ) but the feeling that here you  are about to commit your lives to each other and the  major thing on his mind seems to be protecting his families wealth from you when your marriage  fails . I’d be hurt too. 

And “I didn’t want to change my name, but he wouldn’t even discuss our children having my last name, so I agreed to do it to share my future children’s names and I even published my Master’s thesis under my married name so I wouldn’t lose it.”  bothers the hell out of me on your behalf . A pretty unbalanced power dynamic there . I hope he’s not a lot older than you too….

Post # 25
Member
2858 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

To me pre nups are like seat belts. You don’t get into your car thinking you’re going to crash, but you still put on your seat belt in case something happens. 

I was in a very similar situation to you with my husband. He had inherited property including the house we live in. I had nothing really other than what I earnt.

i suggested a pre nup to him, but they aren’t legally binding here so we didn’t see the point in the end. It was hard being in a relationship where the balance of power was off, but after nearly 8 years married I can tell you it’s not like that now. Hubby is a great saver and some of our savings are in my name, some his, some our sons. Everything is very much combined now and no longer an issue.

Post # 26
Member
93 posts
Worker bee

marydbee :  OP I wanted to chime in here to give you a different perspective. At the moment you pay less than your SO as you go through school. And you feel like there is a power imbalance. But imagine how your SO has felt all his life — his family’s wealth has enabled him to build up his career relatively easily compared to how YOU would have gotten there. I’ll bet he wasn’t working part time jobs throughout school. This is a really complicated dynamic for a kid to grow up with. It’s actually pretty hard to know that where you’ve gotten is in great part due to the leg up you were given by your family. 

Now, your partner is doing the exact same thing for you. He doesn’t want you to work needlessly while you study because he sees it as an investment in his family (I.e., you). He’s giving YOU the same leg up his family gave him. The ‘payment’ is not that you will pay him back in money. It’s that you will have this psychological stuff to deal with — and it’s up to you if you are able to come to terms with this, because it seems to me that this is going to be with you guys throughout your whole relationship. Attitudes towards money and financial independence are difficult things to grapple with. But ultimately money is just a tool. It’s  just something you can use or not use to better your life. If you’re being offered it, why not accept that wholeheartedly?

What I’m trying to say is that there is no reason for you to feel ashamed that you’re not earning as much as you can because he’s telling you not to. In actuality, you’re investing in yourselves as a team. You aren’t a deadweight. You’re working really hard as a student. And if one day you or he decide to not work whilst raising a family, the same principles will apply.

i hope this can help. I feel really strongly about this. Money is just a tool. Prenups are just a tool. What you might do well to talk about in counselling is your attitude towards finances compared to his — neither of you are right or wrong, but this is going to stick with you your whole life.

Post # 28
Member
206 posts
Helper bee

marydbee :  Nobody goes into marriage thinking it will fail but statistically theres a good chance it will. Have the pre-nup protect both of your assets. Will you be sharing a bank account eventually when you earn more money discuss how that will work in case of divorce. My boyfriend is currently helping me pay my way through school and I’m living in a home owned by his parents but I dont feel a power struggle at all. So does your boyfriend sometimes treat you wrong or hold over your head how hes helping you? I’m going to nursing school but even after I graduate, he will still earn twice as much as me but we dont consider him the higher rank in our relationship, it’s all equal. We arent doing a pre-nup BUT here’s why I think your boyfriend should. He’s protecting his inheritance which tbh if I got divorced I wouldn’t wont my spouse running off with my family’s money. Me and my boyfriend dont have a rich family so theres no worry there.

Post # 29
Member
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

do you have health insurance? car insurance?  why?  to protect yourself in the event that something terrible happens. you certainly don’t want anything terrible to happen but if it does, you are protected.

i think of a prenup the same way.  he has family assets to protect.  people say things now but in the event of a divorce, sometimes people get greedy.

you would need your own lawyer to look over the prenup to make sure you are protected and it’s fair.

 

i have significant family assets while my husband came to the marriage with a suitcase and a dog.  i looked into prenup, he was ok with signing on.  in the end i didn’t get one.  i live in a separate property state, so anything that was mine before marriage, is still mine after.  his name is not associated with any of those.

now that we have kids, i am working with a financial advisor to make sure i am protected.  i want everything to go to our kids.  my husband is still on board with this and understands.

Post # 30
Member
14967 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I agree with PP.  Prenup is like insurnace and especially with the saying that the person you marry is not the person you divorce.  He sounds like he’s been very generous with you thus far even before being married so it’s not like he’s being a stingy ass who would want to leave you on your ass with nothing, he just wants to make sure he’s protected and things are fair if it came to a divorce.  I dont think a prenup would change this power dynamic you mention either, it just seems that it’s income thing and money thing with or without the prenup, he’ll always make more and have the “power” of the money in the relationship.

Post # 31
Member
2660 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

zl27 :  well I wouldn’t know, because I’ve never been asked to sign one,  but if that’s the case then I’d refuse because it’s like pre-planning a break up, like why even bother being together if you can see your future split so clearly that you’re planning for it?

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