Post # 1
I’ll start by saying that I used to be against prenups and never could imagine myself signing one–unless it was really important to the other person. Since becoming a lawyer, I have completely changed my mind on the issue and I believe prenups are a smart move, because in reality not many people can truly predict how their relationship will unfold during the course of their life. Sometimes unpredictable events come into our lives and we do not know how either person will react in a particular situation and if it will lead to the dissolution of marriage. Over 50% of marriages fail in the US, and I’m fairly certain that most of these marriages are entered into with both parties believing that it will last forever–but statistically that’s not the case. So, that is why I would recommend a prenup to anyone who is even considering the idea. If, however, a couple doesn’t want one, then that’s fine as well.
So, having said that, my brother–who has no idea what I think of prenups–casually asked my opinion/legal advice on the issue. He said to me “God forbid anything happens to my relationship and I truly hope it’s forever , but I don’t want to get screwed over if things end badly with us.” My brother is currently doing his medical residency, so his income will be significantly more than my FSIL’s in just a few years. I told him that I feel a bit uncomfortable giving him legal advice and he should really speak to an attorney (which I referred him to), but that if he really wants to know my opinion: I personally wouldn’t mind signing a prenup and I think it’s a wise move.
In the end, she said no way and got really upset. My brother told my mom that when he brings it up she yells. So, they won’t be signing one. I haven’t said anything to him since I don’t want to get in the middle of it. But I wonder if this is a bad sign where one person refuses to sign a prenup? Or maybe she is so certain of their relationship that she’s offended by the whole idea. Either way, I feel for him because she can’t see his perspective. As his sister, a part of me feels compelled to help him out but at the same time I really can’t get involved here–even though he came to me for advicei initially. Not sure if I should just let it go completely or maybe encourage him to talk more to Future Sister-In-Law so maybe she can see it from his perspective. I hope I never regret staying out of it.
Post # 3
At one point while dating, my Darling Husband brought up the concept of a prenup. I was very upset. I understand that bad things happen in relationships, but to me it’s silly to plan for your divorce when you are talking about getting married. I also refused to sign one, but my Darling Husband was not that serious about having one anyway. You say that you feel for your brother because she can’t see his perspective, but can you see her perspective? Essentially, by thinking they need a prenup, it says their marriage won’t last, and that she is a money grubber who will try to take him for all he is worth at that time. It’s not pretty.
Post # 4
I did not have a prenup, but I would not have been offended if Darling Husband had asked for one. Of course, I had been married before (for 10 years) so I know how first hand how marriages unravel- even marraiges that started out great. However, I think that you had better stay out of it for the sake of your family relationships.
Post # 5
@AlliRae: Yes, I can see her perspective but I think it’s unfortunate that one person would refuse to sign a piece of paper which is so important for the relationship as a whole in the event that things don’t work out. Nobody who is getting married wants to think about the possibility of divorce–but can you guarantee that it won’t happen? So, to me it’s not a big deal to just sign one document and put it away (and hopefully never have to see it again).
Marriage is more than love–it takes planning in my opinion.
Post # 6
@eeniebeans: Thanks, yes I’m going to stay out of it. But the whole situation raised the question to me of why prenups are viewed so negatively. I’m interested to see what you ladies think of them.
Post # 7
My fiance asked me to sign a pre-nup and we’ve agreed to do so. At first, I was a little taken aback and then I thought about where he was coming from. His parents are divorced, it was messy and while they do get along there are still some underlying issues related to how things were split up.
Several of my own relatives have been through messy divorces and so I think they are beneficial too. Everyone would like to believe it will always work out but in reality you never know. When people get emotional things can get nasty real quick and having a plan laid out when everyone is thinking with a clear head is far better than trying to come to a consensus when they’re not. I’ve seen it happen time and again.
Post # 8
I wouldn’t sign one unless he was already rich and I was poor. As it is right now, we’re on equal ground. Anything built during the marriage should be split regardless of who makes more money, unless there is abuse and cheating involved.
Post # 9
I have asked Fiance to sign a prenup (I have family assets I would feel irresponsible not protecting, considering my grandparents spent their whole lives saving, working their way up from nothing, and investing). The prenup won’t cover any assets we obtain after getting married. My Fiance is angry about it, but will sign it. I don’t see it at all as planning for a divorce. I think that prenups get a bad name because many times they’re used to keep women “down” or to not allow a woman to get her fair share after raising the children, etc. But in concept, I don’t think it’s a bad idea and it makes sense, especially when you’re older and have established yourself financially. The truth is that you never know what’s going to happen, and you can expect someone to behave fairly in the event of a divorce, but I think we’ve all heard stories about people who didn’t behave fairly against all prior evidence that they would. My Fiance doesn’t expect us to get divorced and doesn’t want any of my family assets, so that’s why he’s okay with signing it.
In short, I completely understand why some women don’t like them, but I think it makes sense to consider it rationally (or as rationally as one can).
Post # 10
I think it is VERY smart to stay out of it. You will likely preserve a better relationship with your brother and certainly with your Future Sister-In-Law.
Your brother is not yet a doctor? Doing a prenup to try to protect assets earned during the marriage, in the future, seems odd. I’m not against prenups, when they’re protecting assets that are brought into the marriage or especially when they are protecting children from another relationship, but I’d be hesitant to sign one that was all around “I’m going to make more money than you in the future.” I would feel it was very much not approaching finances as ours and instead as yours and mine (which is fine to me for assets prior to marriage like retirement accounts etc) and was setting up a pretty substantial power imbalance.
Post # 11
@Paigey: THIS 100%
If I was getting married to Vin Diesel (swoon) I’d sign a prenup. Or if I was marrying a Doctor or a Lawyer, or someone who had to worry about large assets he had before he met me. But if my Fiance made the same amount as me, I’d be less resceptive to a prenup. What we develop together in a marriage is ours together.
Post # 12
I am only pro-prenup if you have existing assets, like family businesses/property/etc, that you want to protect after the marriage. IMO anything made after the marriage is open to split – he may make more than she does, but she will be a source of support for him and they are a partnership. If my Darling Husband had tried to get me to sign a prenup because he was thinking ahead to protecting his own unmade money, I would be hurt and upset at his selfishness and refuse to sign.
Post # 13
@Kurzweil: You said what I was trying to but better 🙂
Post # 14
I can see why she would be upset. At this point I am sure she has done a lot to help him get through medical school and then he asks for a prenup because he will make more then her. That to me isn’t a good reason for a pre-nup and he comes off as a jerk. If he had property or family inheritence that he was trying to protect, that is understandable, but his point is that he will make more.
I definately would advice him to keep this between him and is future wife, this really isn’t any business being family talk and I would be annoyed with my Fiance knowing that he is airing our business to his mom and sister.
Post # 15
@violet25: umm it makes sense to have a prenup if you are coming into a marriage with assets–but your brother will be a doctor in a few years, so he won’t be a doctor until after they’re married–I’m sorry but I don’t see where he is coming from.
I understand your point as a lawyer, but if EVERYONE gets a prenup even if they don’t have trust funds or property coming into the marriage–what is the point of marriage? What, do we need to make divorce easy and seamless? Life is going to get messy sometimes, that’s just the way that it is. And btw if there are children involved in a marriage I could definitely see them and Future Sister-In-Law getting shortchanged if she signs an agreement now that her husband’s future earnings are off the table.
Again, I can totally understand if one partner ha a lot of assets coming into the marriage, especially if they also have kids from a 1st marriage. You need to protect yourself just in case. But that is not the situation here. Your brother is not a doctor, and wants to make sure that when he is in a few years his wife has no claim on his earnings (or has whatever claim he decides on now). If I were your Future Sister-In-Law I would take this is a huge sign that he is not ready for the commitment and would at least postpone the wedding–if not call off the engagement completely
Post # 16
@violet25: you clearly don’t see her perspective, because you’re still insisting by your own opinion that a pre-nup is a “so important” piece of paper and that it’s unfortunate that she refuses to sign one. your brother doesn’t have any assets yet, so I don’t see the point of this pre-nup, and everything earned after marriage should be split down the middle in the event something screws up.
I recommend, like PPs, that you stay out of it. you are clearly on your brother’s side, so your stake in this is biased, which will definitely ruin the relationship with your Future Sister-In-Law and possibly, eventually your brother.