Talking to Your FI About Money/Prenup

posted 3 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee

I would do some research and consider collaborative or mediation lawyer to draw up a marriage contract together. The issue with a typical prenup template that your lawer is going to protect you and that means it is to the advantage you. Comes across kind of harsh to start a relationship with a power play like that… but everyone’s situation is different and it sounds like you have reason to want one. I read somewhere that in first marriages, prenups are typically not suggested. Not knowing how your Fiance would respond to it, but if my SO blindsided me with one, I’d be unlikely to sign it. I’d be open to something more tailored and customized to our relationship, ages, individual property, future kids/support, clarifying “contributions” outside of pure income, etc. My SO makes more than I do, and he almost owns his townhouse, while I rent and still have about $15k student loan debt…but I still think it’s a crappy way to enter a first marriage unless it’s something we do together rather than one partner saying “here, before we say “I do”, you gotta sign this”. JMO.

Post # 3
Member
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Lake Louise Canada

I would agree with PP, its best to sit down with him and ask if he’s open to joining you at a lawyers office to write up an agreement together. Definitely dont surprise him with a contract that he doesn’t know you’re working on.

Post # 4
Member
2181 posts
Buzzing bee

summerrain123 :  I think it’s good to remind him that marriage already comes with a bunch of default rules about assets–the purpose of a prenup is to tailor those existing laws to better fit your own situation. Find out about what the law says in your area (in the US, community property vs marital property) and you can start the conversation from there. 

Post # 5
Member
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

Speck_ :  Absolutely agree! We had originally talked about getting a pre-nup, but ultimately found out that the local laws already protect the assets we were concerned about. We saved the money and didn’t get one.

Post # 6
Member
652 posts
Busy bee

I would seek out a recommendation for a reputable attorney quietly and consult with him or her about your concerns and possible options.  I would then talk to your fiancé about the provisions you would like in a prenup and realize he might be fairly resistant. I would highly recommend you and your fiancé get separate attorneys so that you know the legal advice you’re getting is to protect your financial interests alone.  After having a very nasty and expensive divorce, I encourage you to proceed with the prenup even if people tell you it’s unromantic or an unreasonable thing to need to protect yourself financially. 

 

Post # 7
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Ironwoods Beach, Maui

This is coming from someone who is a financial planner.

If you want to protect yourself, you do not need his signature on a pre-nup and many times they are worthless later on down the road because you cannot predict the future.  You are better off having an attorney design a REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST.  IT protects assets from divorce AND from creditors and it is much more flexible.  You also have the benefit of not your heirs having to pay an attorney to probate your assets after death.

I currently have my own house and my own business with lots of assets I want to make sure my son from my first marriage gets and not my husband-to-be in the event of a divorce.  If we never divorce and I die, my husband gets some of the assets and my son gets some.

Edit:  You should set up the trust and title assets in the name of the trust PRIOR to getting married.  That way you can prevent any marital assets screwing up the works.

Post # 8
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee

summerrain123 :  Just be honest. My SO and I have combined finances, but are thinking about prenups (he makes quite a bit more than I do).

It feels like you could never hate your Fiance, but if things go down hill, it’s all about having guidelines about fighting fair. It’s about protection, not about keeping things from the other person.

I think it’s kind a sweet, actually. Like “I love you so much I want to prevent myself from trying to financially destroy you if things go wrong” – weird?… Maybe! But it works for me 🙂

Post # 9
Member
9588 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I did get a prenup, and it was my idea. Here’s how I did it.

1. I told him I wanted a pre-nup, and why.  For me it was about protecting us and our kids in the event of a divorce–I wanted to have the ground rules laid out to avoid either of us taking a blighted earth strategy in the case of a divorce.  I wanted to be as generous as possible, but my primary concern was keeping family inheritances in the family.

2. Once he was on board, I looked up the list of things a prenup can legally address, and what the state defaults were if we didn’t have a prenup (e.g. what does your state say about alimony?).  We went down the list together and one by one decided if we wanted to make any changes to the default. We talked through what the default would mean for us, what a change would mean, and what was fair.  We usually flipped pronouns–e.g. we assumed he would be the one recieving alimony, rather than me, even though in our situation it would likely be the reverse, in order to be as empathetic as possible.   Once we knew what we wanted, we contacted lawyers.  Knowing what we wanted ended up being helpful–DH’s lawyer threw in a few clauses without DH’s knowledge and he shut the lawyer down immediately because we had already talked through whether we wanted it or not.

 

What you’re asking may not be fully doable via pre-nup.  You’ll need to talk to a reputable family lawyer in your state to find out what you can and can’t do.  Whoever handled your last divorce might be a good start, if you’d hire them again should you ever have the need.  There’s no point talking to your Fiance about clauses you want that won’t ever make it to the pre-nup anyway.

 

Post # 10
Member
9588 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Joyful2019 :  that’s exactly how Darling Husband and I felt about ours.

Post # 11
Member
7002 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Every person I know (including my parents) got married never intending to divorce. I’ve seen way too many divorces get ugly and battle over money. Darling Husband and I did not to a prenup, but we were high school sweethearts who basically worked our way up together. We felt that neither of us had serious assets and everything we aquired in our realtionship at the time of marriage we had done together. Any money I inherit won’t be so much it would make a huge difference. That being said had either of us come into the marriage with assets I would have fully supported it.

I agree with others to contact a family law attorney and have them guide you through the process. Talk openly about what you guys see in the future and how you want to divide things.

Post # 12
Member
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I casually brought it up to my then Boyfriend or Best Friend (before we got engaged). If you are already engaged, that’s fine too. As long as you don’t just draw up a prenup on your own with your lawyer and shove it in is face to sign a few days before the wedding :)!  It’s kind of like an insurance policy that you both agree on…in case of divorce, but hopefully that will not happen.

I just told him that it was important to me and my parents (which was true), that in case of divorce, that we each get what we came in the marriage with so it is fair. Also there shouldn’t be any alimony paid because we each work and should not depend on the other for money. We also decided to contribute to our own retirement plans which would not be shared in case of a divorce. You cannot stipulate child support in a prenup though, that is up to the courts.

 The old rules of splitting everything 50/50 and receiving alimony is antiquated and based  on women being housewives and not having their own careers to support themselves. We each had our own lawyers to negotiate the prenup since to do otherwise may invalidate it.  It isn’t easy at times to negotiate, so be patient, and try to be as fair as humanly possible and you will get thru it.

 

Post # 13
Member
155 posts
Blushing bee

summerrain123 :  have you mentioned this in the course of your relationship? We discussed this on our 3rd date as was a dealbreaker for us and didn’t want to waste each other’s time if either of us didn’t want to sign in if/ when things got serious.

Post # 14
Member
9588 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

smallbee :  “As long as you don’t just draw up a prenup on your own with your lawyer and shove it in is face to sign a few days before the wedding :)!”

Good point!  Not just because doing that would be super rude, but also in CA and WA (and probably other states) prenups shouldn’t be signed within 3 months of the wedding or with less than 1 month for the receiving party to review it with their attorney.  Violating either of those makes a convincing case that the prenup was signed under duress. 

Since your wedding is in July, you have plenty of time.. but in all you want to start this process in the next month or two, if you plan on doing it.

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