He wants a prenup and I'm feeling hurt... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-19-2005, 11:12 PM
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(Yes, I am still taking a break from VB, but I am hurting and this is the only online community I really feel safe sharing my feelings in...)



My fiance wants a prenup. I realize there are a lot of very logical and practical reasons to do it, but all I'm feeling is this hurt, emotionally. I'm afraid that he somehow expects our marriage to fail, that he expects us to get divorced...and it really makes me uncomfortable.



I've told him how I feel, and I explained that I would sign it even though I was uncomfortable with it, in order to make him feel more comfortable. In return, he has accompanied me to pre-marital counseling (something he finds uncomfortable), but when he told me tonight that he'd heard from his attorney that the agreement was nearly finished, I felt a little twinge of hurt.



I am going to have an attorney of my own review the document for fairness - I trust my fiance but I know that his lawyer is going to be looking out for my fiance's best interest, not mine. I can't really afford lawyer fees, so my fiance is going to help me with it.



It's put kind of a downer on the whole excitement of planning the wedding. Granted, part of the reason I'm not enjoying the wedding planning as much as I thought I would is because I'm going through a serious downcycle of depression right now, but I just keep wondering...when we say "'Til Death Do Us Part", does he really mean it, or is it..."'til we get tired of each other and get a divorce" ?



*sigh*

We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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#2 Old 10-19-2005, 11:29 PM
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yea that feeling you have should not be far-fetched at all

and i'm sorry to hear you are feeling like this



good luck with the wedding and the marriage

have faith in your love for each other



pray and try not to worry too much about this part of it
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#3 Old 10-20-2005, 12:31 AM
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Awww sweety!! A prenup is just to protect both of you, and obviously if he is helping you pay for your lawyer he is looking out for you too! I wouldn't take it so personally, Unfortunetly things happen, and there's nothing you can do about it but be prepared just incase.
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#4 Old 10-20-2005, 01:10 AM
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I understand where you are coming from, I've thought and discussed a lot about pre nups, just because the idea fascinates me and brings out this weird split in my emotions that I find intriguing.



I would feel quite hurt if my SO wanted a pre nup. I undertsand the whole concept and it's basically saying that if things do go wrong (not that they will) then here is the deal.



On the one hand, I understand the logic and I agree with the concept as the stats point to a large percentage of marriages ending in divorce and everyone knows at least one couple who have had a bitter separation and would have benefited from a pre nuptial agreement.



One the other, the emotional side of me feels it 'cheapens' the whole marriage agreement, and kind of 'puts a lifespan' on it. I get that this may not be the case and that it's quite realistic and practical to go into a marriage with a pre nup, but I wonder if it's part of a modern lifestyle that pushes that 'throw away' or 'watch my back' mentality.



I think in the end, my choice woudl be to say that I'd rather not be married and that living together would be fine with me. But this would obviously not suit everyone.



Make sure that you get good representation, if you do have a pre nuptial, make sure that you have an independent legal rep look over it. You obviosly care about your fiance and he you, but make sure that you don't sign anything that may come back to haunt you.



If you can afford a marriage, and a pre nup is part of this, then you must be able to pay for the pre nup to be worded and drawn up correctly.



I'd make it part of your wedding budget.



Good luck, and don't let this get in the way of your feelings for each other.



It may even be good to sit down and have a good old chat about it, even if you are signing it. Don't let things simmer.



Cheers!
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#5 Old 10-20-2005, 01:40 AM
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I can appreciate where your coming from, but I think in this day and age its a given. Think of it as a precaution rather than a sign that he's not 100% into it. As someone above said, it protects both of you.



I don't think you should be offended.
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#6 Old 10-20-2005, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfire View Post

I think in the end, my choice woudl be to say that I'd rather not be married and that living together would be fine with me. But this would obviously not suit everyone.

This is the arrangement that would work best for me also, but I also understand that this isn't what the thread is about. Since you've decided to get married, and since he wants a prenup, I suppose your only choice would be to talk it entirely through with each other and make sure you come to a decision you are both happy with. Why can't the two of you write your own prenup without the aid of a lawyer and just get it notarized by a lawyer after? (My terminology could be incorrect.) I'm sure there's examples of them online if you need ideas. To me that would be much more personal than his lawyer writing something up and then you having a lawyer read over it. That process is the part that sounds unhealthy to me, not the prenup itself.



Best luck, dear, and nice seeing you on VB!
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#7 Old 10-20-2005, 07:45 AM
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I don't know if there are any stats on this, but I would bet that people who are realistic enough about marriage to want a prenup are probably also going into the marriage with realistic expectations and thus would ironically, be less likely to file for divorce when things stop being all doves and flowers and showers of happiness. So I think you've got yourself a smart, realistic guy there, one who's not going to get going when the going gets tough. Sorry you're feeling down about this. Have you been going to indiebride.com? I bet they'd have some words of wisdom for you.
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#8 Old 10-20-2005, 09:14 AM
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I'd never marry anyone who would ask me to sign a prenup, nor would I ask anyone to sign a prenup, but that's just me. No matter how "practical" they might be, they are basically saying that 'we don't trust each other completely'



"Most people dont do them. They may be prudent, but premarital agreements just dont feel good. It feels like you're giving up on your marriage before you even get started. You're asking two people who are thoroughly in love and convinced that this is a marriage made to last forever to, in effect, negotiate their divorce settlement before they say "I do." Any way you dress it up, that's a real downer for romance."

http://www.lawyers.com/lawyers/A~100...GREEMENTS.html
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#9 Old 10-20-2005, 09:22 AM
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I had never heard of a "prenup". But I went to find out all about it on google.



To me, this sounds like an excellent way to get to know who one is REALLY marrying. It's a way of being honest with each other and helps to understand what some aspects of marriage means to the other person.



It can avoid a lot of misunderstandings. It is never good to marry without laying all one's cards on the table.



Your future husband sounds like a man who does not take unnecessary risks. And who is able to plan for the future. I would trust a man like that...
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#10 Old 10-20-2005, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceryna View Post

My fiance wants a prenup. I realize there are a lot of very logical and practical reasons to do it...



Love is the ONLY reason to marry, & it's not logical or practical but it's a beautiful bond for life (with the right partner - probably one who doesn't think about prenups)





I've told him how I feel, and I explained that I would sign it even though I was uncomfortable with it, in order to make him feel more comfortable.



Love does not have these concerns...





In return, he has accompanied me to pre-marital counseling (something he finds uncomfortable), but when he told me tonight that he'd heard from his attorney that the agreement was nearly finished, I felt a little twinge of hurt.





Why would u put someone u love & want to marry thru this???





I am going to have an attorney of my own review the document for fairness - I trust my fiance but I know that his lawyer is going to be looking out for my fiance's best interest, not mine. I can't really afford lawyer fees, so my fiance is going to help me with it.



Hope it's cheap...Why not save yer money for someone worth it???



It's put kind of a downer on the whole excitement of planning the wedding. Granted, part of the reason I'm not enjoying the wedding planning as much as I thought I would is because I'm going through a serious downcycle of depression right now, but I just keep wondering...when we say "'Til Death Do Us Part", does he really mean it, or is it..."'til we get tired of each other and get a divorce" ?



I think u have already answered that...

*sigh*

..
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#11 Old 10-20-2005, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post


...who does not take unnecessary risks. And who is able to plan for the future. I would trust a man like that...



Sorry to post twice in a row but I would have to disagree with Dianas last statement.



To me he sounds like a total wanker...
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#12 Old 10-20-2005, 10:29 AM
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i'm sorry that you're feeling hurt.
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#13 Old 10-20-2005, 10:33 AM
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btw, i think prenups are incredibly important. i pushed my husband for one, but he refused.



marriage is not a romantic thing about love and til death do us part. You go to a government office and get a license. this license, once fulfilled, gives you certain governmental rights and responsibilities. it is for the pragmatic purpose of legally joining property and wealth for the purpose of wealth management. it sets up legal inheritance for children as heirs and assigns.



that's what marriage is.



romance is what two people in love do. marriage is a pragmatic social contract. A prenuptual agreement is part of that contract--understanding whose property is what and should anything happen to the original contract--the marriage--who will return with their own property and what property will one or the other party be able to gain access to from the wealthier party should they be the one to break the contract.



a prenuptual agreement is one of the healthiest things that one can do for a marriage. it's one of the healthiest things that two individuals, who love each other, can do for themselves to make boundaries and protect their own interests. i consider it a very healthy activity.
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#14 Old 10-20-2005, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

marriage is not a romantic thing about love and til death do us part. You go to a government office and get a license. this license, once fulfilled, gives you certain governmental rights and responsibilities. it is for the pragmatic purpose of legally joining property and wealth for the purpose of wealth management. it sets up legal inheritance for children as heirs and assigns.



that's what marriage is.



romance is what two people in love do.

Oooh, I really like this wording. I agree very much.
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#15 Old 10-20-2005, 10:53 AM
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well if that is the way you feel why get married?

Just get some nice friendly cheap lawyers to draw up some agreement about any future kids, divorce, who had what before they met, etc etc etc, & bypass the whole marriage bit.
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#16 Old 10-20-2005, 10:58 AM
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I've told him how I feel, and I explained that I would sign it even though I was uncomfortable with it, in order to make him feel more comfortable.



Why??!! If you feel uncomfortable about pre-nups don't sign one. End of story.
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#17 Old 10-20-2005, 11:08 AM
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When I got married, she offered to sign a prenup because of our income differential. I declined, thinking it unromantic, and that the future would of course be all roses.



It didn't work out that way, and since I live in a community property state, it turned out to be a very expensive mistake, in terms of money, karma, and time. I lost way, way more than could ever be considered "fair" given the circumstances.
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#18 Old 10-20-2005, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bjorn again veg View Post

well if that is the way you feel why get married?

Just get some nice friendly cheap lawyers to draw up some agreement about any future kids, divorce, who had what before they met, etc etc etc, & bypass the whole marriage bit.



I can't think of any reason right off why you couldn't do that, but legal marriage has been set up for that very reason, so why go through lawyers? It's probably a lot cheaper to get a marriage liscence than it would be to pay a lawyer to draw up another contract to do exactly the same thing. If lawyers charge by the hour, it'd take longer to draw up one big contract that included a prenup than to draw up a prenup by itself, wouldn't it?
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#19 Old 10-20-2005, 11:41 AM
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whatever happened to sarcasm?
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#20 Old 10-20-2005, 11:42 AM
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Sometimes it doesn't come through very well over the internet?



Though Ceryna, I think it's admirable that you're willing to sign it despite some discomfort. They're entirely unromantic, but nobody begins a marriage imagining that it will end in divorce. Having the prenup as a safety net will take a lot of pressure off your relationship and certainly off you both. There's a great chance that you'll never need it, and hopefully you won't. In the event that you do, the end of a marriage is painful enough without battling about what belongs to whom.
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#21 Old 10-20-2005, 12:15 PM
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Prenups are something I'm torn on, and I'm sorry you have to go thru this. Silverfire had some great insight on it.



Can I assume that your fiancee is financially better off than you are?
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#22 Old 10-20-2005, 12:26 PM
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well, not to get into a debate, but something to think about--what are the governmental differences between a marriage (contract) and a contract that two individuals can make that mirrors marriage?



one thing that cannot be contractually given is spousal priviledge. this is a legal priviledge that goes to evidentiary law. this is similar to doctor-client and lawyer-client priviledge. Two people who choose not to marry, but want to combine incomes, purchase property together, raise children and assign them as heirs and assigns, and in all other ways form a civil partnership still do not have access to this legal right without marriage. In fact, there are 100s of similar rights and responsibilities that marriage allows that cannot be obtained via contract, wills, trusts, and other formations.



this is why gay marriage is such an issue. it really comes down to definitions. homosexual people want the rights and responsibilities that come with the legal marriage contract. people who oppose homosexual marriages do so because they hold a definition that goes outside of this legal contract--they define marriage in a moral manner, with certain attributes and deliniations, almost completely forgetting that it is, and always has been, a legal contract that functions as a social structure for ownership, wealth, and the agency of heirs.



when we take this view of marriage--as a legal contract with rights and responsibilities--we recognize that marriage can be dissolved and that love can still remain.



while i don't know them, i'll give the example of the annulment of marriage that the actress from jerry maguire is asking for in california. what she's asking for is a dissolution of the marriage based on fraud rather than a divorce. if she didn't have a prenup, and if their wealth wasn't equal, then this annulment is important because it will dissolve their legal property contract wherein their properties were combined. assuming that she didn't know that she had more wealth than he, assuming that he stated that he was equally wealthy--this was the 'fraud' in the situation (he said he was wealthier than he was). The annullment due to fraud would allow her to extricate herself from the property combining elements of the marriage contract, wihtout having to give him any of her wealth. A divorce would likely require this--regardless of how short their marriage was.



now, understanding annulment vs divorce, what if the couple still loved each other greatly? they could marry again--this time with an appropriate prenuptual agreement to protect their property--or they could stay unmarried and thereby financially independent. But, they would still love each other and all of the romance of 'til death do us part' still exists regardless of the marriage contract, annullment, prenuptual agreement, and potential new marriage contract.



do you see what i mean? the idea is that these two things are separate. You can have all the emotion and romance in the world and never get married--and that's ok! marriage is for certain purposes and gives you certain legal rights and responsibilities. It doesn't forge your relationship. it doesn't mean that someone loves you. In fact, many people get married for money reasons, not for love--and this happens all over the world and has for centuries because this is what marriage really is.



So, instead of feeling hurt, recognize that the marriage part is just a small part of the love that you have for each other. the marriage part is a governmental contract thing and the prenuptual agreement is part of that--and that's good and healthy and ok. It's the wedding that is the romance part, the love part. it's the vows that are the love and the romance part. and it's your relationship that is the love and the romance part.



there's no reason to be hurt by contracts and governmental stuff like this. it's just practical and fits the situation. It isn't an indication of love or of a belief that a love is going to fail, but rather that property rights and such are sticky and that individuals and families often want to protect what they have.



would you like me to give another example?



recently, a friend of mine's father got remarried. He has been 'seeing' this woman for 8 years--2 years after his wife died. They've raised children together, they've lived together, they are a couple in love.



my friend became very upset when his father was going to remarry. His father lives on and works over 1000 acres of prime virginia farmland. it is beautiful farmland. this acreage is worth a lot of money, and my friend--as the only son of his father--is set to inherit all of the land as long as his father is single. My friend wants to inherit this land, because his smaller parcel is adjacent and he works as a farmer on both small farms.



my friend's concern about his father's remarriage is this: his future step mother has three children of her own. one is grown--the same age as my friend--and two still live with their mother.



my friend's father is not very pragmatic. he doesn't have a will--but right now the intestate heir (that is, if you die without a will, the state laws of inheritance apply) is my friend, his father's only child. He is set to inherit the land, whether his father has a will or not.



once his father marries, if he does not write a will (dying in testate--or dying with a will), then the intestate law applies, but the heir becomes his legal wife--not his son--assuming she is still living. If she inherits the land, or at least the spousal share of the land, then the land becomes sub divided between the two heirs. this means that my friend would have to buy out his step mother for the land. and you must understand that this is millions of dollars worth of property.



and this is not his only concern. virginia has very good pro-woman laws in divorce situations. Should his father not protect his property with a prenuptual agreement, should they get divorced--for whatever reason--it is likely that she will get a share of the land or a value of the land. This means that not only is the father out his land, but so also is the son.



and there's another twist in this property problem--the issue of 'land trust.' land trust is a particularly unique form of trust in which farm land is kept in tact for the purpose of passing it down along family lines to maintain family farms, wealth, and property. Marriage law impacts these trusts--because now not only would the son have right to the trust, but also the wife, and any children that the two of them may have together.



Also, if the land becomes sub divided (as would be the case in intestate inheritance) then the land trust is broken, the land can be sub divided, and then sold off and vulnerable to rezoning (which could lead to imminent domain, which could lead to a loss of the farm entirely) and any number of other legal things that could cause a loss of the land.



So, do you see why my friend would be interested in his father having a prenuptual agreement and a will?



thankfully, this has now been sorted. His father has a will, and the prenuptual agreement was signed. In the prenuptual agreement, should they divorce or dissolve their marriage, she gets a decent alimony, but the land is in trust and therefore won't be used in the divorce proceedings. If she agreed to it--which she did--the courts will approve it as well. In the will, my friend is the sole heir to the property, and he didn't care much as to what else happened with his father's estate--just that this land was important to him, as it has been in their family for a few generations now. that's what's important.



So, understanding why these things can be important--even if you're a young 20-something with nothing but fluff in your pockets and a lot of dreams--is that there are things that are going to come up that are wholly yours, and of your own making that you deserve to have--if the *marriage* doesn't work out. The relationship may--as i have seen it happen many times. . .



so love and marriage are not the same thing. but love and wedding--those are.
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#23 Old 10-20-2005, 12:47 PM
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I feel that compromise is important, that's why I agreed to do it even though I am feeling some discomfort. In return, he agreed to do something that I needed to feel comfortable, even though it was hard for him (premarital counseling).



He is better off than me, financially. Not only does he have a better job, he has better income potential because he has a college degree and I do not. (Although I am going back to college next year so that I can work on finishing my own degree.) He also has more money in savings than I do, and he is a homeowner.



I don't care about his money, and I never have. The only thing I have cared about is being sure that he is able to support himself and contribute fairly to our partnership. I once had a deadbeat partner that I had to support, and I didn't want a repeat of that, so I was happy that my fiance (back when he was a love interest) told me that he had a good job and owned his own home.



I think that I'm probably taking it a little bit personally, wondering why he is marrying someone he can't trust to behave like an adult in a divorce proceeding.



If, _ forbid, we were to get divorced, I wouldn't try to "clean him out" or otherwise financially damage him or get revenge. I would only want anything I had taken into the relationship, such as my own savings and assets, plus a fair share of the marital assets, commensurate with what I had contributed.



Even when I finish nursing school, I won't be making nearly as much as he will, so my contributions to the marital assets would be less than his and I'm fine with that.



All of you have made excellent points and I agree that a prenup is a sort of safety net. I guess I just don't feel that I need it because I trust him completely and I believe that if we were to get divorced (which I truly hope never happens), he would treat me fairly and I would treat him fairly, out of respect for each other.

We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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#24 Old 10-20-2005, 12:50 PM
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I would have a clause that made the pre-nup null and void if a child was conceived during the marriage. Then all bets are off. Both parties would be required to maintain the others standard of living for the bennifit of the child.
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#25 Old 10-20-2005, 01:30 PM
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cernya:



i do not know what state you live in, but sometimes divorce proceedings work according to the law, and not according to the wishes of the individuals involved.



i know many people who get divorced amicably and respectfully, but the one who came to the marriage with less leaves with half of the total assets because that's the way that the law outlines it--not necessarily the way that she wants it.



do you see what i mean?



if you lived in a state that had 'common property' then everything that he brings goes into the pot. everything that you bring goes into the pot. So what that he's 2/3 and you're 1/3 right? But if you get divorced the next day, you get to take 1/2 and he takes 1/2--no matter what. It may not be that you're out for the money--in fact i completely believe you that you are of your perspective, because that was the structure of the prenup that i wanted for my husband and i. see?



if you want that sort of structure should you, ___ forbid, get a divorce, then a prenup is actually for you. you're saying--marital and divorce laws be damned, this is how i'm going to conduct myself should anything happen. I'm circumventing what the state thinks is best for me, for us, and doing it my way!



this is also important to recognize so that you can take ownership of the prenuptual agreement. If you want a dissolution that works for you--that is that fits the things that you outlined--then you're going to have to outline that first, because if you don't, then the law applies, and you may not like the way that it applies.



anthony gave his great experience. i do not know his divorce situation particularly, but lets say his ex-wife held your position. she would stand before a judge and say "judge, i don't want half of his property. rather, i want to just leave with what i came with." and the judge would say 'i'm sorry, but the law is the law, and it will be enacted as the law." and there you have it--she walks away with a lot of stuff that she didn't come in with because she doesn't have a choice, that's the way the law works.



with a prenuptual agreement, you have a choice. that's a great thing. you can say--this is what i want. And the judge says "yes, that makes sense--that's what you get."



the prenup, though, should have multiple parts:



1. it should outline your perspective--you want what you came in with.



2. it should outline your future property/monitary interest--you want a share of what you create together. If you buy a second home together, for instance, you have an interest in that. If you buy other property or have combined investments, you'll want a share of that too.



3. it should outline your perspective of your future children's needs--you'll want to outline how you would proceed should you have children to support. you can even determine custody and other potential situations at this point. things also to consider are what to do with frozen embryos, should you have them. there was a case relatively recently in which the husband and wife divorced, but neither one claimed the embryos. when the husband's new wife was infertile, they wanted to use 'his' frozen embryos. A court battle ensued of course over custody and right to use of those embryos. So, consider these sorts of things as well.



4. it could contain a 'how we will divorce' statement: ultimately, all divorces have to 'go to court' but everything can be worked out before hand in an amicable fashion with a mediator. so, you could say that instead of expensive court proceedings, the unresolved issues of 2 and 3 can be determined through a mediation process (for example, you don't know if you'll have a boat, but you'll likely have an interest in that boat if you do, so if you don't get the boat--if he wants it--what do you get that equals that interest?--so those things would need to be hammered out).



Honestly, a prenup is like a will. if you die without a will, you might want your mom to get your teddy bear collection, but the state may decide that your mom only gets a portion of your teddy bear collection. If you want to make sure that your mom gets the whole teddy bear collection, you'd better write a will--because the law doesn't care how you feel or what you think. it will apply 'by the books' and that's it.



so, you want a prenup so that you know and can understand that you are acting in your best interests in the way that you want to behave and in a way that you think is fair and appropriate. the way the law falls may not work out in *your* interests and processes. so, this is as much for you as it is for him, really.



right? you want to behave in a certain way, you have to set it up so that you can!



no need to have hurt feelings! btw, marriage councelling is a great thing--i think it's great that you're both going. also, congrats about going back to school. do you know what you're going to study?
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#26 Old 10-20-2005, 01:45 PM
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oh yeah, and once you're married, you'll want to get a will, a living will (should you be incapacitated and unable to make any medical decisions for yourself), outline who has durable power of attorney over your assets as well as your medical decisions should you be incapacitated.



this will help you avoid things like the Terri Shaivo case. also, it is in your best interest and in the best emotional interest of parents and significant others to make sure that the medical decision maker is not one of them. i'll give an example that my law prof gave me:



your living will names your mother as the person who can choose whether or not you live or die based on the medical information available. your doctors believe that you're not going to come through--and if so, only marginally and with great injury, perhaps no cognition. you'll be a life-long economic drain on your family as your medical care bills will be high and you will have life--but perhaps not a quality that you like. in your living will, you state that should this be the case, you want people to 'pull the plug' on you.



if your mother has to make the decision to determine if you're going to pull through--and thus keep you on life support--and even if you pull through that you'll be injuried, your mom will be wracked with concern and grief. SHe's already wracked with concern and grief as you are her baby. She wants you to live and thrive and she loves you. To make this decision will weigh on her heart so heavily.



if she keeps you alive--you may be suffering and it may be against your will! if she lets you die, she has the constant "what if i held out and she recovered?"



Now, put your husband in that place. Your sister. Your best friend.



Who is the best choice for these sorts of decisions? My teacher recommended a lawyer, a health advocate, a doctor or someone else with medical knowledge who is a friend or coworker. While these people will grieve and will struggle with the decision--the emotional attachment that mom, sister, or husband have is so much greater. i found my teacher's idea to be compassionate to all parties involved.



for my own living will, i have a friend who is a former paramedic. he's the first choice. his wife is a friend of mine and a lawyer--she also worked as a paramedic. should he be unavailable to make medical decisions, she is next in line. Should she be unavailable, i have 4 other individuals in line--doctors and lawyers--who would make the appropriate decisions. This absolved my husband and parents of any guilt. They can blame another--another who is less emotionally involved, educated and able to handle the situation.



Also, it is a good idea that the person who has control or power of attorney over your assets be a party in fidelus--that is, a party who is legally responsible for assets and can be held accountable governmentally and criminally for mismanagement--a wealth manager, an accountant, a lawyer or banker are good options. A friend of mine is a bankrupcy lawyer and should anything happen to me medically, she manages or makes decisions regarding my assets while i am incapacitated. i have outlined everything that she needs to know about my perspective--and i know that she will follow it in her own conscience. i trust this.



i know that these things seem so dark and morbid while you're looking at one of the most exciting vocations that you can undertake--a beautiful life with someone creating a beautiful family life for the both of you. But being able to have control over your own destiny--regardless of what the law says--this gives even more freedom to build as you see fit.



so while you're talking to lawyers about prenups, talk to them also about wills, living wills, and the situation of durable power of attorney for medical decisions and assets.
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#27 Old 10-20-2005, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

cernya:



i do not know what state you live in, but sometimes divorce proceedings work according to the law, and not according to the wishes of the individuals involved.



i know many people who get divorced amicably and respectfully, but the one who came to the marriage with less leaves with half of the total assets because that's the way that the law outlines it--not necessarily the way that she wants it.



do you see what i mean?



if you lived in a state that had 'common property' then everything that he brings goes into the pot. everything that you bring goes into the pot. So what that he's 2/3 and you're 1/3 right? But if you get divorced the next day, you get to take 1/2 and he takes 1/2--no matter what. It may not be that you're out for the money--in fact i completely believe you that you are of your perspective, because that was the structure of the prenup that i wanted for my husband and i. see?



if you want that sort of structure should you, ___ forbid, get a divorce, then a prenup is actually for you. you're saying--marital and divorce laws be damned, this is how i'm going to conduct myself should anything happen. I'm circumventing what the state thinks is best for me, for us, and doing it my way!



this is also important to recognize so that you can take ownership of the prenuptual agreement. If you want a dissolution that works for you--that is that fits the things that you outlined--then you're going to have to outline that first, because if you don't, then the law applies, and you may not like the way that it applies.



anthony gave his great experience. i do not know his divorce situation particularly, but lets say his ex-wife held your position. she would stand before a judge and say "judge, i don't want half of his property. rather, i want to just leave with what i came with." and the judge would say 'i'm sorry, but the law is the law, and it will be enacted as the law." and there you have it--she walks away with a lot of stuff that she didn't come in with because she doesn't have a choice, that's the way the law works.



with a prenuptual agreement, you have a choice. that's a great thing. you can say--this is what i want. And the judge says "yes, that makes sense--that's what you get."



the prenup, though, should have multiple parts:



1. it should outline your perspective--you want what you came in with.



2. it should outline your future property/monitary interest--you want a share of what you create together. If you buy a second home together, for instance, you have an interest in that. If you buy other property or have combined investments, you'll want a share of that too.



3. it should outline your perspective of your future children's needs--you'll want to outline how you would proceed should you have children to support. you can even determine custody and other potential situations at this point. things also to consider are what to do with frozen embryos, should you have them. there was a case relatively recently in which the husband and wife divorced, but neither one claimed the embryos. when the husband's new wife was infertile, they wanted to use 'his' frozen embryos. A court battle ensued of course over custody and right to use of those embryos. So, consider these sorts of things as well.



4. it could contain a 'how we will divorce' statement: ultimately, all divorces have to 'go to court' but everything can be worked out before hand in an amicable fashion with a mediator. so, you could say that instead of expensive court proceedings, the unresolved issues of 2 and 3 can be determined through a mediation process (for example, you don't know if you'll have a boat, but you'll likely have an interest in that boat if you do, so if you don't get the boat--if he wants it--what do you get that equals that interest?--so those things would need to be hammered out).



Honestly, a prenup is like a will. if you die without a will, you might want your mom to get your teddy bear collection, but the state may decide that your mom only gets a portion of your teddy bear collection. If you want to make sure that your mom gets the whole teddy bear collection, you'd better write a will--because the law doesn't care how you feel or what you think. it will apply 'by the books' and that's it.



so, you want a prenup so that you know and can understand that you are acting in your best interests in the way that you want to behave and in a way that you think is fair and appropriate. the way the law falls may not work out in *your* interests and processes. so, this is as much for you as it is for him, really.



right? you want to behave in a certain way, you have to set it up so that you can!



no need to have hurt feelings! btw, marriage councelling is a great thing--i think it's great that you're both going. also, congrats about going back to school. do you know what you're going to study?



A prenup seems to be the opposite of a will, to me. Because, in marriage, it is presumed that you'd want your spouse to retain half of everything that is yours (generally) and a prenup almost always takes away from that. Wills don't 'take away' they give.



The only reason for a prenup imo is to protect children from a previous marriage or relationship, but second marriages are a totally different ball game.



Marriage, to me is the complete joining of two people, including everything they have and everything they are. Prenups prevent you from joining completely, I think. How could they not?
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#28 Old 10-20-2005, 03:08 PM
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Delicious - I guess that's what a marriage is supposed to be. But things do turn ugly if one partner wants to split up and therein lies the problem.
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#29 Old 10-20-2005, 03:17 PM
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I personally would expect my boyfriend to ask for a prenup (and I would suggest it if he didn't). He will inherit half of a farm that has been in his family for 5 generations, he won't be working his half, his sister will, so if we were to get married, he gets his half of the farm, and then we divorce, his sister could lose 1/4 of her farm and income. He also has some land and money coming from his maternal grandfather. I can't see how not protecting his family's land would be a good thing regardless of what is between us.



I'm sorry you're feeling hurt over this, but I think your compromise is a good one and both of you end up feeling safe. I doubt once this is over you'll think about the prenup again unless you need it, so why cloud the fun of getting married?
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#30 Old 10-20-2005, 04:28 PM
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I think a prenup is a good idea, as long as it is fair to both parties. That's why it is important for both parties to have their own attorneys to review the document.



This assumes that the prenup would be valid in the event of divorce. I disagree with Mikee's suggestion that you try to write your own or use a form book. That would just invite the divorce attorneys to try to attack and overturn the prenup. Also, the validity of the prenup depends not only on the language in it, but the process the partners went through in formulating it, and whether there was full disclosure of assets and related information by both parties. You should have attorneys guiding this process to see that it is correct. Possibly, you (two) should even hire an acountant who is familiar with these matters.



I disagree with putting any clause in the prenup that would make it null and void upon the happening of a particular event. That's just dumb. Why have a prenup at all if it can self-destruct?



As far as provisions for children and their support are concerned, that is something you should definitely talk over closely with your attorney. AFAIK, prenups are about the division of marital assets in the event of divorce. Whether they can deal with child custody or child support issues in any meaningful way is very unclear to me and probably depends very much on the law of the state you are in.



One issue that has not been explicitly mentioned is that part of the purpose of a prenup is to see that the couple's assets go to the couple rather than to the divorce attorneys or the legal process or simply to waste in a contested divorce proceeding. I think it is safe to assume that the fees and costs for the prenup will be a lot less than the fees and costs for a contested divorce.



As far as "trusting" the other party to be fair, I see several problems with this. First, it seems that a common complaint about marriage is that the spouse either "changes" after a few years of marriage or a different side of the self is revealed after a few years of marriage. So you say "I do" to Dr. Jeykll, but end up married to Mr. Hyde. Can you really trust Mr. Hyde? Second, a frequent cause of divorce is infidelity. If a divorce is precipitated by hubby's relationship with Heather Homewrecker or Gina Golddigger, then it is likely that she/they will be pressuring him not only to get a divorce but also to get as much as possible and give you as little as possible in the divorce. So, the question becomes, how much can you trust Heather or Gina?



I think a prenup is prudent for both parties.
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