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Prenup?

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Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 12, 2006
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Ok.. so I did a search.. and I didnt really find quite the topic or answer I was looking for:

The best man in our wedding (whoooohooooo 33 days!!!) has informed us that he is getting married in June... he asked me to post to you wonderful Pricescopers about Prenups!

He has fallen head over heels for a Brazillian au pair (sp?) whom he has been with for about 3 months.. and they are getting married in June due to immigration issues (getting married so soon due to the immigration issues)...

OK.. so for the sake of getting information.. lets just ignore the obvious red flags... and let me just say that we (FI an I) are VERY happy for him and want the world for him..

So.. down to the nitty gritty.. he has expressed an interest (to my FI) that he may want a Prenup. This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)
ETA: Just so you all know this will be taking place in California (I know that what state this takes place in, has some effect!)

Please forgive any inaccuracies as I am relaying alot of this information...I do want you all to know that my FI did ask him point blank "Do you have any doubt in your mind that this wedding is about anything (the greencard) other than the marriage?" His answer was a definite... "No doubt in my mind"

In my opinion.. there were immediate red flags.. but I congratulate our best man on seeking out some protection.. I personally dont see it as a form of doubt.. or premonition that something might go wrong in the future.

So, my question is.. what are your thoughts? how would you think he should approach this issue with her? Do you have any experience and can offer an honest opinion on this matter... Obviously it has the potential to become very heated... I am not expressing a right or wrong opinion on the subject of prenups.. but I would like to know what ya'll have to say.

Thanks in advance.. my FI and I, and our best man thank you!
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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Date: 2/26/2007 1:14:44 PM
Author:Jaders731
This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)
IMO most prenups are to protect previously-owned assets *NOT* income earned DURING a MARRAIGE! That sits wrong wrong wrong wrong w/me. Like he''s "renting" her for room & board instead of a 50/50 partnership.

No legit attorney in the world would advise her to sign such an agreement.

There was a Dr. Phil episode recently about guys asking for POST-NUP agreements ... saying they''d "stay" with their wives if they signed away rights to $$/possesions/etc earned *during* their unions. Those guys were RAKED OVER THE COALS as selfish, delusional __-holes. FWIW.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2006
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I have issues with this too but I think it''s smart of him to want to make sure he''s okay should SOMETHING (god forbid) happen during the marriage. Prenups are called Prenups because they''re prenuptual agreements. While they protect assets brought into the marriage, you can also make stipulations within them as to what happens should there be adultry, divorce (alimony), children, etc. The biggest problem I see is her lack of income or unbalanced income. Should they marry and get divorced, if he''s making significantly more than her she might be elegible for alimony. I think your friend should at least speak with an estate attorney before approaching her about this because he may find that he has nothing to protect through a prenup so the point is moot. As to approaching her, if she''s in it for the long run she shouldn''t have a problem with it and she should understand. But who knows, I say that now but if my bf ever approached me about a prenup I''d have serious issues.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
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3,255
Well, I don''t know what you mean by protection of income....do you mean that should they get a divorce he would not be obligated to provide for her furthur? I know in Quebec, upon divorcing, the governement does this kind of automatic equalization thing where both spouses end up having the same income...ie. if I make more then my guy, I need to compensate the differences. So if you get divorced even with NO children, you HAVE to pay alimony if you make more until the spouse decides to get married again. Personally the only think I would want in my prenup is the assurance that in the absence of no children, there will be no alimony whatsoever. Other then that, I can''t see her signing anything. If she has a child by him, etc., a sort of protection of income could be very dangerous for her. If she is entering this with only love, and down the road has a child by him and he leaves her, she could be in financial difficulty.
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
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5,471
Hmmm... this is tricky. My two cents:

I can totally see where he's coming from, especially given they don't know each other too well yet. But I agree that this makes more sense with respect to protecting what was already his when he went INTO the marriage rather than trying to keep her from any share in what they acquire during their marriage.

Things to think about:

1) Marriage is a financial partnership... if he doesn't want that with her... does he want a marriage with her?
2) While he may be earning more, will she be passing up other earning opportunities to be with him? Making career or education decisions based on the family? Will she be contributing to the partnership in other ways? (taking care of household, kids, etc.)
3) Will this make power REALLY unequal between them (e.g., make it very hard for her to leave him if he doesn't treat her well... not that your FI's BM would DO that of course! but it's the principle of the thing...or make her feel totally dependent on him?).

I completely understand him wanting to protect himself, and I think a lot of guys hesitate to get married because they're worried about alimony and divorce. But alimony laws were put in place for a reason and I think those laws make a huge amount of sense... and I'm saying that as a woman who will likely earn more than my partner in the long run and would therefore be the alimony pay-er not the pay-ee. Heaven forbid we should ever split up!


What you earn and save BEFORE you marry is yours if you want it to be. But things shouldn't be so unequal DURING the relationship or as a threat AFTER the relationship that one partner becomes totally dependent and helpless. It can't help but affect power relations. And the best relationships are those where power is sufficiently equal that you almost never notice it's there!

Just some things for him to think about! Not sure if these are even really issues in his case? But just some thoughts.

 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
11,242
Date: 2/26/2007 1:22:22 PM
Author: decodelighted
Date: 2/26/2007 1:14:44 PM

Author:Jaders731

This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)
IMO most prenups are to protect previously-owned assets *NOT* income earned DURING a MARRAIGE! That sits wrong wrong wrong wrong w/me. Like he's 'renting' her for room & board instead of a 50/50 partnership.
I was under this impression as well. Before I was engaged (and before I really knew anything about pre-nups, either) I kept hearing "women who won't sign pre-nups are selfish gold-diggers" etc. etc... so I really wanted to protect FI (and myself for that matter) by signing one myself. However, I've been told recently that we have pretty much nothing to protect at this point--both of us are new in the working world and as yet have no "assets" to speak of.

So I guess, it's a nice thought, but it wouldn't actually accomplish anything!

I agree with Allycat:

Personally the only think I would want in my prenup is the assurance that in the absence of children, there will be no alimony whatsoever.
But I'm not sure that's really possible....
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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5,471
Sorry for the threadjack, but

Musey:
Good for you for offering to 'protect' your FI! I also offered a pre-nup to my wealthy ex FF and felt it was the right thing to do regarding 'existing assets' going into the marriage.

But I think what you earn during a marriage belongs to both of you! Although, different strokes for different folks.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,255
Ugh. I think it is possible in the US. I know it''s not possible where I live, all prenups are null and void in Quebec. Actually I had a friend (female) who was a doctor, married a guy and they got divorced (no children). For the past five years he''s lived with a woman although hasn''t married her (officially on paper it says that they don''t have the same address), and stays home and does nothing. He currently cashes in $120, 000 per year. And will continue to do so for the rest of his life. She has since remarried and has 2 children, but HAS to continue paying until he gets married or makes more money then her. So that''s the only situation I would like to avoid. Everything else, including all assets obtained during marriage (regardless of who makes more) I think it is reasonable to split 50/50.

I think it''s really safe and reasonable to discuss this with a mate. I know that no one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but FOREVER is a really long time, and sometimes, things can change. You only truly have control over yourself, and marriage takes 2 people....so I wouldn''t be offended if my future husband brought it up. I think of it as practicality.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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In the States you do not have to have children to get alimony. If either party makes a certain percentage more than the other party then they can (but not aways) be stuck paying alimony until the other person marries. This goes if you''re a guy making more than the girl and vice versa. Usually it''s until the person marries again however due to people cohabitating, a time period is usually written into the agreement. Alimony is not meant to support the person for life, it''s just supposed to allow them to maintain their lifestyle for a reasonable amount of time until they can start providing for themselves. Child support is an entirely different animal. You can get CS but no alimony or you can get both but you''ll always (hopefully) get CS if you have kids. Once again, this is done in percentages so it''s objective.
 

psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
105
I believe that California is one of the most woman-friendly states when it comes to divorce... someone correct me if this is incorrect information! First of all, it will be hard to convince a woman to sign away her rights to any income he earns during the marriage. It would be one thing if he already owned a house or really expensive car and simply wanted to keep her hands off of it. But in a marriage, she may feel that the reason he''s able to succeed in his career and earn more money is because she''s taking care of the home, shopping, food, etc., and if they have kids, she''s sacrificing her time taking care of them. If he meets another woman and dumps her on her ass, she gets nothing? I wouldn''t sign it. Even if she does sign it, it''s likely with a good attorney she could still get money anyway. Will they keep every asset in his name only (all bank accounts, major purchases, etc)? if they divorced, how would they decide who gets what according to the "I don''t want to share any of my income" prenup? it could get confusing, and she could end up with a lot more than he wants to give her anyway.
 

ponderer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
233

I don''t believe he has much to stand on. Prenups are traditionally used to protect property/trust funds/inheritances/family heirlooms/etc. obtained before marriage. Not income and possessions obtained during marriage. I believe most states split anything obtained during the marriage fairly 50/50. If this is a serious concern of his he needs to talk to an attorney in the state that he plans to marry and reside in.


Alimony is extremely different in each state. I live in a state where alimony is virtually unheard of, while other states are quite generous with alimony. Keep in mind that if they do divorce, they are subject to the laws of alimony in the state that they divorce in, not the one in which they marry in.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 2/26/2007 4:02:47 PM
Author: psaddict
I believe that California is one of the most woman-friendly states when it comes to divorce... someone correct me if this is incorrect information!
I think you're right! Tom Leykis complains about this all the time (and while I HATE to agree with this guy, he's always very well-read and/or experienced with the subjects he talks about--especially this one).

I think that money made during the marriage should be distributed depending on the circumstances each partner lived under. I completely agree that a stay-at-home mom should receive compensation from her ex-spouse at least until she gets on her feet (ditto for stay-at-home dads), but if both partners are working (without kids) I don't think it should just be split equally (especially forEVER like in allycat's friend's situation).

Of course, all of that is so difficult to actually determine ahead of time and even more difficult to write into general divorce laws. That would be what I'd write into my pre-nup, I suppose
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,037
Date: 2/26/2007 1:22:22 PM
Author: decodelighted
Date: 2/26/2007 1:14:44 PM

Author:Jaders731

This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)

IMO most prenups are to protect previously-owned assets *NOT* income earned DURING a MARRAIGE! That sits wrong wrong wrong wrong w/me. Like he''s ''renting'' her for room & board instead of a 50/50 partnership.


No legit attorney in the world would advise her to sign such an agreement.
I agree. It would be different if it was to protect family money or prior wealth. To try to protect his future income is horrible. They will be married. it doesn''t matter who makes more. You are a team when you get married!
 

ponderer

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
233
I followed the link that Trelala posted and under the Top 10 Reasons That Prenups Are Invalid was:

UNCONSCIONABILITY. It''s true that you can agree to give up your right to inherit from your spouse, which you would otherwise be entitled to do upon your spouse''s death, even if he or she left you out of a will. You can sign away your right to spousal support if you should end up in divorce court, even if your spouse makes ten times as much money as you do. You can even agree that your spouse gets all of the property and you get all of the bills, if that is what you want to do. But if the agreement is so grossly unfair that one party would face severe financial hardship while the other prospered, the court is unlikely to enforce it. "Unconscionable" contracts are generally found invalid, and premarital agreements are no exception.

I think this may answer our question.
 

psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
105
Date: 2/26/2007 9:16:37 PM
Author: Tacori E-ring

Date: 2/26/2007 1:22:22 PM
Author: decodelighted

Date: 2/26/2007 1:14:44 PM

Author:Jaders731

This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)

IMO most prenups are to protect previously-owned assets *NOT* income earned DURING a MARRAIGE! That sits wrong wrong wrong wrong w/me. Like he''s ''renting'' her for room & board instead of a 50/50 partnership.


No legit attorney in the world would advise her to sign such an agreement.
I agree. It would be different if it was to protect family money or prior wealth. To try to protect his future income is horrible. They will be married. it doesn''t matter who makes more. You are a team when you get married!
I agree as well. This isn''t a roommate situation, where you split everything and keep everything completely separate and don''t even know how much your roommate makes. In a marriage, you''re working together to make a life & future together. I''m picturing a really depressing situation where the husband and wife each set up completely separate retirement accounts, and one has a lot of money in it and the other has next to nothing.
 

Jaders731

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
527
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your input and advice...

I purposely posted and waited to see what happened and what everyone''s reactions were.. because I''m not sure how I feel about this situation.

I really hope in my "relaying of information" that I did not portray(sp?) our best man as being a jerk or some man who just wanted to use his future wife and deprive her of an equitable future. I dont believe that was the intention in seeking this information at all. Perhaps he didnt know the true meaning or purpose behind having a prenup. I am sending all of your responses to him, as I think you all have given great advice. I hope that he takes everything ya''ll have said to heart.. and really searches deep down for the type of marriage that he envisions with his Fiance.

I do think that some sort of alimony agreement would be wise (of course in the event that there is NO children involved)...that being said though.. I really dont know what would be a good course of action.

I''ve tried to stay neutral and supportive in all of this.. inspite of the red flags that have been flying. We want the best for him.. (as all of you would if your friend was in this situation)

I''ll keep you all updated! Thanks so much!!!

P.S. PSaddict.. California is very good towards women in Divorce situations: I''m pretty sure that in California (at least when I lived out there and my mom was exploring her divorce options) that equitable division of everything (in layman''s terms of course!) was reliant upon 10 years of marriage. (although now that I think of it.. it might have been 7 years.. but i know it was one of those two numbers)
 

love is in the air

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
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Date: 2/26/2007 1:14:44 PM
Author:Jaders731
So.. down to the nitty gritty.. he has expressed an interest (to my FI) that he may want a Prenup. This prenup is not necessarily to protect any assests, but more a protection of the income. He would be bringing in the major part of the income for the household as she will continue to be an Au pair (I am guessing that her income is SUBSTANTIALLY lower than his.)
Leaving aside everyone else''s excellent clarifications as to what a prenup is, if has no doubts and he absolutely trusts her, why does he need a legal document to protect his income? Might be a good question to ask him.
 
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