Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hot Topics--#1 Prenups


I have decided to start discussing some topics on my blogs which may be controversial, or maybe not so much to others.

Tonight, pre-nuptial agreements. What do you think? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Have you signed one? Known someone who has?

I have never really thought too much about it. When Kurt and I met, we literally had NOTHING, except personal belongings and some debt between the two of us. No assets, no retirement accounts, no nothing. Everything we had built up once we were married and prior was done so by BOTH of us, so prenups were never brought up in any sense as we truly already, at the time of marriage, considered everything as "ours".

But. A lot of people these days are getting married later in life and/or have already built a life for themselves, along with substantial savings and assets. To me, in MI, your premarital assets for the most part, are separate if you divorce anyway. So, what's the point of the prenup?

The reason this is on my mind is because we draft prenups and postnups at the office. I always feel kinda weird doing so. I just kinda look at prenups as smart on the one hand, but almost like you are *expecting* your marriage to be doomed on the other. With divorce rates, I suppose there is a good chance, but still.....Some churches, I have read online, actually forbid prenups. We had a client once who had us do a prenup, which was signed, and then came in later to rip it up because the church told him he had to.

Would you sign a pre-nup? My answer to this question is *it depends*. Most likely, I would not. But, I feel kinda hypocritical on this, because I may want someone to sign one if I had a lot and the person I was marrying had little, or a lot of debt. I guess prob the ONLY time I would sign one would be if the person I was marrying came from really old money, and their family found it important, as I would not be marrying someone for their premarital money. But that is all I would sign one for. Half of everything is each of ours AFTER marriage. If you dont think I am worth that, you can screw off, would be my jaded opinion, LOL.

Thoughts?

27 comments:

Mindy said...

I signed one in my first marriage, as my soon-to-be-father-in-law was dying and asked me to. My ex came into a large sum of money when his dad died (10 days before we wed.) I didn't care then, at all. I don't regret it now. It only applied to assets he inherited from his father, and that was it.

I would sign one. I want one that says if he cheats, I get everything. :)

Lisa said...

I didn't my first marraige but with Adam I will. He has alot for himself that he is afraid to lose. A house, lots of retirement savings. If you would have asked me my first marriage I would have been so offended and would not have been willing to sign one. Now, I don't care. Honestly, I think its smart. I'm not marrying Adam for what he has.

Amanda said...

I had built a little life for myself by the time we got married (retirement, some stocks), but I didn't own any property. J came into it with a good amount of stocks that we eventually used as a downpayment on our first home. Pre-nup? Not a thought.
If I - or whoever I married - had a LOT of money or assets, I would certainly be OK with having one. But I agree with Mindy's cheating exit clause, LOL.

Lori H said...

Mindy: In MI, with inherited money, it is considered your own separate property. Is it different there? Anyway, I would have signed in that situation too. I would not expect that inherited money be mine, since it was left to my husband. And I love your cheating clause, haha. I read that to my husband and he loved it too! :). Seriously, I would prob add that in if I was asked to sign one! ;).

Lisa: In MI, all premarital property is separate, so Adam would have nothing to lose here. I have no idea on Canada law. Be careful about whatever you sign because you should not sign off your write to after marriage assets.

Amanda: Yea, we did not even think about it either.....

Rebecca said...

I kind of agree with you in the sense that sometimes, signing a pre-nup is like you are expecting the marriage to not work, but maybe that's the hopeless romantic in me. But well, anyone that marries me, the only thing they would be out if the marriage ended is lots of awesome meals (and great sex, haha)

.................Nancy said...

Steph and I had nothing and were constantly broke when we first met 7 years ago, and we have a house and a car (I mean, house and car debt..) and we are still broke! At least we're way skinnier.. hehe so no a pre-nup would have been ridiculous.

I don't know... I guess like everyone else, I'd probably sign a prenup if I was marrying into money. I can't even imagine the reverse though, I couldn't see myself asking a guy to sign a prenup if I had a lot of money. In fact, one of the reasons why I'm constantly broke is that I'm too darn generous and always put others needs before mine. I should really learn... (But honestly, I feel like 'life' has to repay me some way right?)

Jenn said...

When Jason and I got married we had absolutely nothing, so there was no point for us to sign one. I can see the reasoning if there is a lot of family money, though.

RoseAnn said...

Robert and I didn't bring any individual assets into the marriage so a pre-nup was never even a possibility.

I agree with the scenarios above that I would sign to protect my or my future spouses before marriage moneys but not to include anything accumulated after marriage; that is joint.

I also like the cheating clause. Would be interesting to see how someone would react when asked to sign; could be very telling.

Mindy said...

Yeah, NV is a community property state, so, no matter where the money comes from, if it is accrued during the marriage, it's community property. Meaning if his dad happened to pass away 10 days after verses 10 days before our wedding - I would have been entitled to half that money. I don't think that's fair.

I would sign a pre-nup in a heart beat. Craig's ex-wife took half of everything, which I don't think was fair given the fact that she never worked and Craig paid for all of her schooling. He had to cash out everything he had to buy her out of the house . . . I have no problem giving him the peace of mind that I'm not after him for his money. I just don't care about that.

I do, however, really want that cheating clause!

Andrea said...

When Jim and I got married, he had A LOT of money. I had more than the average 24 years old but not what I would consider a lot. We never considered such an agreement and even now he has gone above and beyond to show that his money is my money [during our first year of marriage, he footed the bill for the entire annual contribution towards my ROTH IRA]. While I contribute financially to our family, I still feel as though he's taking care of me.

Is a prenup for me? No. But I'm not completely against it if others choose to have one. When money, assets and investments are involved, this is something to be considered.

MissThang said...

I'd sign one. I want someone to know that I'm marrying them for THEM and not for any assets they may have.

Once upon a time, I would have taken offense to someone asking me to sign a prenup...but these days? Hah. You just never know.

MissThang said...

I'd sign one. I want someone to know that I'm marrying them for THEM and not for any assets they may have.

Once upon a time, I would have taken offense to someone asking me to sign a prenup...but these days? Hah. You just never know.

MissThang said...

I'd sign one. I want someone to know that I'm marrying them for THEM and not for any assets they may have.

Once upon a time, I would have taken offense to someone asking me to sign a prenup...but these days? Hah. You just never know.

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