- 6 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
So I don’t want to highjack someone else’s thread and feel if I add anymore it would be veering too far off her original topic. My intention in writing this is not to start a debate, but to clear up what seems to be misconceptions and falsehoods for those who haven’t ever dealt one and came to the Bee looking through threads for advice. So I will include some basic facts about how prenup work, then I will explain why and how we use them in my family. I also live in the U.S. so they may be different in other countries and perhaps other Bees can chime in with their experiences with them.
Prenups agreements are used primarily to protect family assets(case for my family), premarital assets, and to protect the financial interest of both parties regardless of whom is the more affluent partner, in case anything should happen down the line. Also in some cases you can also use it so you don’t have to assume responsibility for your spouse’s debt.
Things that can be include in Prenup included things that would happen in the event of a divorce: Alimony, Division of Property, and Division of Assets. One thing a lot of people don’t seem to know, is that prenup are not just about what would happen in the event of a divorce. A lot of prenups actually deal and focus with financial plans for a couple in regards to how they are going to manage their money: Paying for a Spouses education, how to invest money, how to use Credit, how to use Household Money, Savings, Life insurance, even about having Joint Bank Accounts. It basically is financial planning and sets a template and essentially a plan for the couples finances that is legally binding. Another thing to keep it mind, as things in the marriage change it is expected that the couple can and will go back and change agreements to reflect any changes in lifestyle or money.
Here are some Misconceptions and things People may not know about Prenups. You cannot add in miscellaneous arbitrary personal things for example: I must get x amount for plastic surgery every year, I must be x amount for or as a maid, gardener, housekeeper, ectr, while that may be someone’s reasoning for wanting a specific amount of money in the event of a divorce it not something that would be included.
Alimony and child support for your future children aren’t legal to include in a Prenup. Prenups can only protect the rights of children from a previous marriage. It isn’t legal to hash out child support or visitation in the event of a divorce. A Spouse cannot wave all of their rights(if they do so it will be laughable easy to get the prenupt thrown out in court), for example alimony either a number can be decided or it can be left out and decided in court.
Now for the personal
My Father isn’t filthy rich, however he owns a lucrative business with my uncle, which two of my brothers and several other family members are involved with. Outside of the family business my parents own several rental properties, including whole buildings. Which means should something happen to them they will be separated and divided between my brothers and I. The standard Family Prenup deals with keeping said family business in the family(even though I really don’t know anything about it just know I have ownership of it), also deals with keeping trust fund from sale of properties to me. Fi’s family owns valuable land, and a lot of heirlooms, and his grandparents ranch which again his Father’s side of the family want to stay in the family, and he has a trust from his grandparents also, according to him there were a few nasty divorces and now it’s become standard for them too.
Prenups can be as complicated or simple as you want. Basically we will make our own decisions on our money, and the only thing our prenup will say is that Fi has no rights to xyz, I have no rights to xyz. In the event that anything should happen (which I sincerely hope it won’t) we would have to figure out everything in court.
My advice to anyone signing one, find a reputable lawyer, one not connected with whoever is asking you to sign the prenup, find one who is going to advise you well, try your best not take it personal. Be aware if you are dealing with alimony, property, education cost, household cost, the prenup will go through various stages. Your Spouse’s lawyer will not advocate for you, so they come to the table and say you have no rights to xyz, and offer no compensation what so ever. It is you and your lawyer’s responsibility to come to the table with something you think is fair. Do talk to your Fi about it, and if it is complicated don’t let it bleed into your relationship, that is what lawyers are for and let them duke it out. In the event you come to an impasse then you guys as a couple should sit down figure out what the issues are and try to compromise, then go back to table with the lawyers and do a little give and take.
One more thing I want to make abundantly clear a prenup isn’t just about divorce. It can be used positively to help a couple develop a concrete financial plan for their marriage. It also protects not just me, but my family and everything my father worked for, it isn’t fair that because we get married his business affairs can be affected. The final thing is if you are the partner with fewer assets it benefits you just as much as your husband or wife.