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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**
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
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.
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.
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.