PDA

View Full Version : Pre-nuptual agreements



mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 06:43 PM
What's the current thought regarding these bad boys?

The rather stuffed-shirt discussions of (straight) marriage as somehow sacrosanct.... the 50+% divorce rate omitted-- got me thinking.

Are these for the rich only? The paranoid? The selfish? The realistic?

Under what circumstances would you create one, or sign one?

supershorty628
Mar. 29, 2013, 06:46 PM
I'm getting married in about 6 weeks and we are not bothering with a prenuptial agreement. We feel that it's not necessary for us. I think we're both fairly realistic about what marriage is like - we know it takes effort to make it work.

starhorse
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:03 PM
I think (hope!) that very, very few people go into marriage imagining the possibility of a day where a pre-nup might come in handy... but I imagine a lot more come out of it wishing they'd had one.

My take on it is why not sign one? It's like car insurance -- it's something you have in hopes that you'll never have to use it, but you're happy you have it when the unthinkable happens.

Canaqua
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:10 PM
I think they generally make more sense for the wealthy, especially when one comes into a later in life marriage with far more assets than the other, or maybe more importantly, some potentially valuable intellectual property. It also depends on what state you are in and what state laws consider marital property.

DH and I are each on our second marriage, neither of us felt we needed a prenup, because we didn't have huge amounts of assets and what we did have was pretty even going in. We do need to have specialized wills, with trusts involved, to make sure all the children get a fair deal when we die...we have a his, a mine and and ours and, depending on who died first, some kid (the his or the mine) could get screwed if we don't plan ahead.

jenm
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:17 PM
My sister signed one, but it had a provision that it would be void after 10 years of marriage. How she has managed to stay married to that guy for 10+ years is mind boggling!

mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:18 PM
Canaqua-- that's what I remember, too: These were for people with assets that didn't match up coming into the marriage. Your reasoning about stuff for kids from previous marriages makes sense, too.

IMO, situations like "Guy first works and sends her to medical school, then stays home to raise the kids (or vice versa)" should be discussed PDQ, before it happens, if not before the marriage. In this case, one person is risking future financial security *during* the marriage by stepping aside from his/her career for the other.

Heinz 57
Mar. 29, 2013, 07:39 PM
Mr. Heinz and I don't have one. I was considerably better off than he was pre-marriage, but most of that money went into buying our house, so a prenup seemed unnecessary.

danceronice
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:23 PM
If you have property of your own coming into the marriage, it would be foolhardy not to have one. I would absolutely want a guarantee that if the marriage ended I leave with all my investments intact and without financial obligation (unless by some chance *I* caused it by my behavior, in which case fair is fair.)

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 29, 2013, 08:36 PM
This is going to make me sound like a stupid girl...

I used to be very pro pre-nup. I thought it was the practical thing to do. Heck, I still think it's the practical thing to do.

But... I'm getting married this Spring. We will not have a pre-nup. There was something about planning for our divorce that was extremely off-putting.

AffirmedHope
Mar. 29, 2013, 09:09 PM
I can see why people would be hesitant to sign one. But sh!t happens and it's better to be prepared. Spouses give into temptations all the time. Better have it and not need it, instead of not having one and ending up up going through a long and expensive court battle.

lilitiger2
Mar. 29, 2013, 09:44 PM
Husband has five kids from previous marriage. We were fairly well matched on resources but I had no problem at all signing a prenup. I understand why people don't, particularly if folks are young and evenly matched, but when there are kids and so forth, its a excellent idea. I have the stepdad from hell and am very glad there is a prenup there. And for sure a prenup is one place I would shell it out for a good lawyer rather than trying to do it myself.

supershorty628
Mar. 29, 2013, 09:49 PM
This is going to make me sound like a stupid girl...

I used to be very pro pre-nup. I thought it was the practical thing to do. Heck, I still think it's the practical thing to do.

But... I'm getting married this Spring. We will not have a pre-nup. There was something about planning for our divorce that was extremely off-putting.

TWIN!!! When is your wedding?

DancingArabian
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:25 PM
I signed one. I wanted there to be no question of ownership of certain things (horse, truck, trailer). Also got an alimony settlement payment in there. He protected his 401k.

saultgirl
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:30 PM
I don't have one. My husband and I had pretty equal "assets" when we started dating (at the age of 18) and we dated for 11 years before getting married. I certainly didn't feel the need to have an agreement written up at that point.

rustbreeches
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:35 PM
We have one. I came into the marriage with a child, he came in with way more assets, but in the event I go first, there will be more coming from my side than his side, including a farm in KY that has been in our family for 2 centuries. His banker also put emphasis on getting one if he wanted to renew his operating loan. I can't touch the business, but I "earn" a greater percentage of assets the longer we stay married. We doubt we ever need to test how iron clad it is, but everything is spelled out

Gestalt
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:37 PM
If I married again I would have one to protect my retirement. There are four guys at work that say they will work until they die so they won't have to share theirs.

mvp
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:46 PM
Interesting the way people with children think of the need to protect their assets... while those without (and getting married for the first time) think that the implication of the need to protect themselves ain't cool or in play.

Why? It would suck almost equally badly to be a 50-year-old divorcee asked to get back into the work force, kids or no.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 29, 2013, 11:48 PM
Why? It would suck almost equally badly to be a 50-year-old divorcee asked to get back into the work force, kids or no.

Now I'm confused...what does getting married have to do with leaving the workforce? You can work and be married, I'm pretty sure...

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:01 AM
Now I'm confused...what does getting married have to do with leaving the workforce? You can work and be married, I'm pretty sure...

I was thinking about the marriage where that deal ends up limiting the earning potential of one partner while enhancing the other's. If you walk in with assets that let you have a looser hold on your career and those become community property, it could suck in the event of a divorce.

Also (and a more gnarly issue), I think couples might have to talk about what the marriage will do for/to each partner's retirement. Those may not be spent together.

inne
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:06 AM
When I got married my partner and I didn't really have anything. It would have been all about whether or not we could split up our Ikea flatware or whatever. But if I were to get married now I would want a pre-nup for sure. I have awesome stuff I don't want him getting his grubby hands on if he were dumb enough to leave me! I imagine the emotional volatility of divorce may not make you the most rational person when it comes to dividing assets so having something that was written in a more clear-headed state of mind could be very helpful.

Because you can write it any way you want you can also write out conditions that make divorce less scary for you - if you know that you're getting $X you might not stay in a hellish marriage because you're terrified of ending up living in poverty. This may be especially important in places where spousal support is hard to come by under current law. And I don't mean that this would *encourage* divorce, but it may give some people - especially women - a greater feeling of agency in leaving bad situations.

Reynard Ridge
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:27 AM
I offered to do one when I got married. My husband had been divorced and his first wife took everything in a very not nice way. I went into the marriage with solid assets, but wanted him to know that his assets were protected in case things didn't work out. He declined, but did think about it.

12 years, a couple of children later, we're still marching along. At the end of the day, though, if we did divorce, no matter the reason, I still wouldn't try to destroy him (yes, even if he cheated). He would be fair and I would be fair. That's just the kind of people we are.

shezabrazenmare
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:36 AM
Remember the recent thread where someone is divorcing after being married for a short time and her husband has sold off some of her horses? If that horse owner had had a prenup, she'd have been able to go right into court and take care of business.

While it's wonderful to be in love, it's also good to be prepared for disaster. People change.

Of course some prenups have been challenged and beaten. Just recently in NY, a woman claimed she was coerced into signing a prenup. Years and several children later, her husband is divorcing her. And a judge ruled that the prenup is invalid due to coercion. So she is going to be able to get more assets from the marriage than she would have if the prenup had been upheld.

Love can sometimes leave a marriage. So make sure you buy your horses in your name.

soloudinhere
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:24 AM
I have one. It's not really about planning for divorce-- I have some financial resources that aren't currently accessible to me (become available when I'm 35) and it was a condition of the inheritance that any marriages I enter either present or future must have a prenuptual agreement protecting that value from the other person.

So we have one, neither of us care-- it pretty much says split everything, but the trust is off limits. He's got one as well (properties) that I also can't touch in the event of divorce.

It essentially just says that neither of us can claim the other's inheritance in a divorce proceeding-- it doesn't drill down into things like alimony, child support, etc.

fordtraktor
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:40 AM
Also, know your state laws. In many (most?) states inherited property does not count as marital property, with some caveats about commingling it.

Prenups are fine but I found one would not have done much for us. We came in fairly even and will come to any inheritances afterward. For trust fund babies, late in life marriages and pre-existing children they are eminently sensible. Investigate whether you need to protect inheritances too. Post nups are possible in many such circumstances.

Skeezix
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:24 AM
They make a lot of sense for people coming into later/second marriages with assets and children.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard a client say "it's a good thing [attorney] recommended one" or "I wish I had listened to [attorney] and gotten one."

;)

Canaqua
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:35 AM
Interesting the way people with children think of the need to protect their assets... while those without (and getting married for the first time) think that the implication of the need to protect themselves ain't cool or in play.

Why? It would suck almost equally badly to be a 50-year-old divorcee asked to get back into the work force, kids or no.

All the examples here involving children are stepfamily situations, where protecting assets in case of death, in particular, is important. In a traditional estate setup, the surviving spouse would get everything...they could then remarry or die and leave everything (including the original spouse's assets) to a second family or other relatives, shutting their stepchildren out. It doesn't even have to be malicious, just a lack of planning issue. I think it's less important in a first marriage with only biological or adopted children, where the usual inheritance routine would cover the kids. The second spouse also is not liable for child support for someone else's kids, so if they divorced, and the parent got screwed out of assets they brought into the marriage, they might have trouble supporting those children.

And, yeah, any spouse who gives up career aspirations, specifically to support the career of the other should be worried, kids or no.