(Closed) Ugh…. Unexpected Pre-Nup Convo

posted 7 years ago in Military
Post # 47
Member
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m probably one of the very few with this opinion but I think a prenuptial agreement is beneficial, regardless of assets one already owns or doesn’t own. Yes, it’s not “romantic” but I believe in being realistic and having everything prepared. It’s like any insurance, I’ll do my best not to get into an accident or I’ll take the best care of myself as possible but I still want/need insurance for “just in case”. I do suggest having a separate attorney to represent each person. In your case, perhaps the prenup can state that he keeps his pension in an event of a divorce but if you do stay at home to raise a family, therefore giving up potential earned income, he has to provide a certain amount for you and the family. The prenup should protect both sides.

Post # 48
Member
522 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@smravec:  you should talk to a lawyer asap.  I’m actually not quite sure how prenups work WRT military pensions.  A friend of mine from the Navy (I’m former enlisted) was divorced recently and he and his wife wanted to work out a deal where she would get less of his retirement in exchange for more cash up front, and they weren’t allowed to do it.  The laws in place are very favorable to military spouses.

So, talk to a lawyer to see if a prenup would even work to actually prevent you from collecting money from his pension in the case of divorce.  The lawyer can also talk to you about your concerns re: the prenup and how you’re giving up your own career and earning potential.

Post # 49
Member
2910 posts
Sugar bee

This is what I would do if it were ME:

1. Ask around for recommendations of a local lawyer who can represent you and help protect your interests, and make the pre-nup fair.

2. Call your Fiance (or leave a message) and say, “After some thought, I’ve decided that I’ll agree to signing a pre-nup, assuming your lawyer and my lawyer can help us come to an equitable agreement. I want to make sure you know that a pre-nup is protecting BOTH parties, not just you. If you’re uncomfortable with that idea, and are only worried about yourself, then clearly we need to re-think whether this relationship is right for either of us. I want to marry a man who loves me and wants to make sure I’m protected in the future.”

Post # 50
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

OP, do consider what will happen to you if you give up career advancement in order to “follow” your military spouse as he is relocated to different places, and divorce before the 10-year mark when you would otherwise be potentially eligible to share his military pension benefits.  If he did not treat you fairly, you might find yourself in a strange town with no support network, no current job skills, and no money to relocate yourself back home.  I personally would want to protect against this. Perhaps you can ask for a reasonable amount of money to relocate to your home town or another city of your choice and a reasonable sum towards career re-training in the pre-nup, in exchange for holding no claim to the military pension.  In this way, you are both protected and you might find it more palatable than you currently do. Really a pre-nup is supposed to be there to protect both of you.

I’ve seen many, many loving couples face divorce after unexpected circumstances change their lives. In one case, it was a couple who lost an infant child. While you may not even want to think about losing a child, the fact is, the divorce rate amongst couples who lose a child is staggering. It’s simply one of those tragic horrible things that can be very destructive to a relationship.  In another case, it was that one partner had been offered a very attractive job offer that would require major relocation, much to the detrement of the other partner’s career, and that set off a spiral of hurt and angry feelings.  For another couple, one partner developed a hoarding disorder (which is a mental illness in some people) and the other partner simply could not live under those circumstances (she tried, for years). The fact is, you don’t know what the future holds, and no matter how much you want to stay married to this man forever, you have to be a realist: sometimes it might be out of your control.   Given that you are making some very real financial sacrifices to enter this marriage, you might want to protect yourself.

Post # 51
Member
3723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@smravec:  I would have a preliminary consult with an attorney. Lay out the financial holdings as you know them, what you’ve told us about your career being impacted, etc., and see what the attorney recommends. There may be language and conditions an attorney can recommend that will make you feel less exposed. You can build in timelines, etc., so if you divorce before 10 years, he retains all of his pension. After 10 years? Maybe you get a portion? After 20 year and the prenup is automatically dissolved.

If he goes prenup route, you will both need independent attorneys so having this conversation now with a qualified lawyer might be the best thing for not only your heart but also your peace of mind.

I’ve brought up the pre-nup idea a couple of times to FH. Then he did and I was like, “WTF!” so I understand how you might be feeling. Go out there and learn more. Advocate for #1 – YOU!

Post # 52
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

You need to find out what exactly your fiance would propose to include in a pre-nup, and then you need to consult a lawyer.  Perhaps what he is proposing is fair and reasonable and supported by the law of your state (for example, that you both keep your pre-marriage assets, but that your assets earned/acquired during the marriage are split in some equitable fashion).  Or perhaps what he is proposing is unreasonable and/or not supported by the law of your state (for example, that you make career sacrifices to support his career and your have primary child-rearing duties, but that he doesn’t have to share any work-related assets, such as his pension, with you if you divorce). 

I would suggest you two have a very open and honest conversation, before the wedding, and if one or both of you wishes to proceed with a pre-nup, that you each consult separate lawyers.  If, in fact, he views marriage as a “mine and yours” proposition, with him doing the earning and you sacrificing your career for him and your family, you should be concerned.  A fair and equitable pre-nup would protect you as well as him.

Post # 53
Member
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

A prenup isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Get a lawyer to help negotiate the terms. You don’t have to sign whatever he comes up with.  You can make sure that the prenup adequately protects you, as well.

Post # 54
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@smravec:  I think there have been some very good ideas on here. I totally understand being hurt by this subject, and agree that it feels like a bait and switch. You should take the advise many of these ladies have given, put your emotions aside and get yourself a great lawyer tell him to get himself one. Figure out what you see as fair compensation for your possible loss of earnings and time put into a life with him and put it in the pre-nup. I say protect yourself, he wants to protect his butt you should do the same. That way you can move on and enjoy marriage without a worry on either side. I wish you well 🙂

Post # 55
Member
5658 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@smravec:  While I tend to say that I agree with Prenups, but mostly to protect BOTH parties in the event of something like bankruptcy etc, I think that this is an unfair request of him based on the circumstances. If you are going to give up your career to follow his, to raise children, etc… Then you are correct, that you are definitely setting yourself career wise for the long haul, and in the event of divorce down the line, you would essentially have a very slim chance of finding a career without some additional schooling, and starting from square one.

Because of that it is fair that you are assisted in the event of divorce monetarily. Maybe you should both sit down with a lawyer to discuss what is fair and equal and the lawyer can give him some real statistics regarding the situation you would be in in the event of divorce. 

I completely get your frustration and hurt though especially since he wouldn’t answer when you asked if he’d marry you without one. That has to feel really really shitty.

Post # 56
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

That’s seems odd to me. maybe he’s getting nervous and his buddies have been telling him horror stories and he freaked out. I may be wrong but I think despite a prenup, you’d still get half of his retirement paycheck a if you’re married over 10 years. I could be wrong though. 

 

you’re uprooting your entire life when you marry a military Member. That’s quite a sacrifice In itself. 

 

talk it out but don’t sign a prenup. Also, make sure he doesnt have money hidden that you dont know about or is going to be coming into some money soon. 

Another posters mentioned a lawyer- make sure they 100% understand military rules and things. There is a military lawyer available at most bases. 

Post # 57
Member
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I agree with pp’s to speak to a lawyer to make sure you both are covered I don’t like them either but would have considered one if it was what my DH had wanted.

Post # 59
Member
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

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@smravec:  Ouch is right. Ouch.

Post # 60
Member
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@smravec:  In my husbands command, he was strongly urged to get a prenup ESPECIALLY because he will be deploying and all of that deployment money will be there. They also told him to not have a joint bank account with me in case I run off with all the money!!

 I wanted one because I am in law school and he would then be entitled to any future earnings I make as a lawyer for supporting me through. Other than that we have nothing together. We’ve also had the conversation where we’re not the kind of people to go after what isn’t our in a divorce or anything. But then again you never know until you’re in that situation.

A pre-nup can also be worded to say something like if you are together x amount of years you are entitled to x amount of dollars or if you give up your career to move then you are entitled x amount of dollars. You can make it say anything you want, put in whatever clauses you want. Like an adultery clause, if he cheats you get x, if you cheat you dont get x. If a pre-nup is something that he truley wants I would go for it.  It isn’t like you are planning your divorce or anything. Especially if you really feel that you wont get a divorce it’s worth it to give him that piece of mind.

Post # 61
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@smravec:  People don’t generally play nice in divorces or else they wouldn’t be getting divorces. I don’t feel that the act of marrying someone should give you access to half of their stuff when you did nothing to help them get it. He worked for his pension, and he is within his rights to protect it (same as you would be to protect yours).

Take all the romance out of marriage and it is binding, legal contract. I sure wouldn’t enter any other binding, legal contract without a lawyer. If someone has no intention of “attacking” during a divorce, then they should have no problem signing a piece of paper to prove it (and it won’t be used anyway, right? You’re marrying him for keeps I’d think).

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