Prenuptial Agreements: Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly? | Engaged Marriage

Prenuptial Agreements: Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly?

By Dustin | Marriage Preparation

“Sweetie, you mean everything to me, and I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you in wedded bliss.  Will you take my hand in marriage?”

“I’d love to, dear.  I’ll just need you to sign right here.  And initial here next to the alimony section.  That part’s really important.”Prenuptial Agreements: Good, Bad or Ugly?

Prenuptial agreements strike me as a bit of an oddity.  I have to be honest and tell you that I don’t actually know anyone personally who has entered into a pre-marriage contract.

Of course, I’ve heard of the wide array of celebrity prenups, which usually get dissected in the media when the couple splits.  But no one I know has admitted to signing any agreements for how things will shake down when their marriage goes down the tubes.

Are we Mid-westerners just naive and simple folk?

Marriage is Grand.  Divorce is Fifty Grand.

Well, I recently came across an article on USA Today’s site entitled Prenuptial Agreements: Unromantic, but Important that had 340 comments.  As the title may infer, it’s pretty much a prenuptial agreement love fest.

I learned a few new things from this article, but I mostly confirmed my own closed-minded, backwoods beliefs about the idea of pre-arranging your divorce (works for funerals, right?).  Here are a few of my favorite tidbits and quotes from the USA Today/Bar Association article followed by a bit of my own (very sarcastic) commentary:

LeAnna Kruckeberg, 24, of Iowa City, says that she has already told her boyfriend of about one year that she would like him to sign a prenup if they get married.

“Family money stays in the family and should be passed down from generation to generation,” she says. “Why should those businesses that my grandparents and my parents built on good old-fashioned hard work be given to someone who marries into a family?

“Any inheritance or trust funds should go to my kids and completely bypass my husband.”

Her boyfriend knows the stories of her relatives’ struggles as they built businesses, so “he understands and respects” her prenup thinking, she says.

Dustin’s Thoughts: This poor guy doesn’t stand a chance with his little lady and in-laws if he doesn’t grow some bigger…fortitude.  And I would have to ask LeAnna, “Why should those businesses be given to YOU, princess?”

Personal-finance expert Suze Orman encourages every engaged couple to get prenuptial agreements to protect their current and future assets as well as to shield themselves in case a mate secretly runs up massive credit card debt (which could damage both partners’ credit scores).

Dustin’s Thoughts: I haven’t had the occasion here to give my thoughts on Ms. Orman.  While she is certainly a bright and successful woman, I feel like her advice is usually divisive and centered primarily on her propensity for man-hate.  She also worships at the feet of FICO (credit score company) and clearly has no appreciation for traditional marriage.

And I’m not saying that because she happens to be a lesbian.  Her advice to couples seems to always hinge on the presumption that divorce is imminent and the man-beast will be leaving his little lady barefoot and pregnant…I find this kind of paradigm repulsive.

Prenups can even outline what is expected of a spouse’s behavior.

“I had a client who was willing to pay his wife a special amount each year provided she didn’t do cocaine,” says prenup guide author Nachshin. “The agreement was to pay her $25,000 a year. He had the right to drug test her, and if she was clean, she was able to get $25,000.”

The wife stayed off the drugs, and over the last 10 years she received $250,000.

Dustin’s Thoughts: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner in the contest for the couple best exhibiting the loving benefits of prenuptial agreements.  If you can’t closely monitor your spouse’s abuse of narcotics and reward her with large sums of money for passing annual drug tests, then why get married?

I think this is precisely what St. Paul was referring to when he said the two shall become one flesh.  Beautiful.

But Wait, There’s More!

I obviously chose some pretty ridiculous examples of situations where prenuptial agreements were deemed necessary.  The problem is the article is full of them, and I didn’t even have to exaggerate the stories or take them out of context.

These are the actual examples that USA Today chose to make their point.  It was these folks that they interviewed to demonstrate why we all need to draft a specific contract before our wedding day that will ease things when our divorce rolls around.

Seriously.

If you think you and your fiance have things covered, perhaps you haven’t considered the amount of weight he could gain or her eventual loss in interest of sexual intimacy with you.  I’m not sure how the blame gets assigned appropriately when several issues get mixed in.

I mean, who should get the bonus check if his beer belly is the reason she is sexually repulsed?  But maybe her loss of interest in him drove him to the brown bottle?

How can we decide?  Ah yes, we are blessed with the optimistic opinions of lawyers specializing in the field of divorce-before-marriage.  From the article:

Some prenups address issues such as adultery, frequency of intimacy, limitations of weight gain, the scheduling of housekeeping and provisions for pets, says attorney Eskind Moses.

Those clauses may seem unnecessary to some folks, but nailing down what is important to each individual — be it the ownership of a ski house, retaining the rights to an antique tea set or determining who keeps Fido — is vital to do before the marriage laws kick in, say pro-prenup lawyers and financial advisers.

Thank you, Moses.  Eskind Moses, that is.

Are Prenuptial Agreements Always Bad?

Since I’ve held back throughout this post, I really need to get my true feelings off my chest. 🙂

Personally, I am a big fan of being proactive, but I cannot imagine requiring or being required to sign a prenuptial agreement.

It seems like a very poor way to prepare for marriage, and it feels an awful lot like pre-planning your divorce to me.  I firmly believe that marriage is for life, and the premise of prenuptial agreements just does not jive with my own values.

That said, I do think there are several special circumstances where a prenup can make reasonable sense.  If those getting married have previous marriages and a complicated mix of blended families, I can see the value in clarifying up-front how the various estates are intertwined.

After all, just because a man and woman think that this is “the one” doesn’t mean that their adult children from three different marriages agree.  That’s a wicked web that probably should be worked out up-front.

Likewise, I can see the value of prenuptial agreements whenever a major imbalance in wealth exists.  The main reason I feel this way is that large sums of money just make people act a bit crazy.

When millions of dollars are on the line, a legal agreement may be needed to keep both families sane and ensure that intentions are true.  I still don’t believe this is a good thing from a spiritual perspective, but it may be an unfortunate necessity under those circumstances.

What Do YOU Think?

Do you have a prenuptial agreement?

Do you think they are a good idea, always bad or sometimes okay?

What if your daughter got engaged but her fiance required a prenup?  What would you say under that scenario? No foul language, please 😉

Photo by allyaubry
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About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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(145) comments

Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife

Dustin,

I really enjoyed this post. I was baffled by the examples that were used in the article, they all seemed like something out of a soap opera to me.

Like you pointed out in some cases a prenuptial agreement is probably warranted however, there is something about creating an exist plan for marriage, prior to even getting married that just doesn’t sit well with me.

It’s like saying:

“I really love you and THINK that I want to spend forever with you… but in case things don’t go exactly as planned and I change my mind, I want an exist plan just in case”.
.-= Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife´s last blog ..Loving Marriage: How remarrying saved my marriage =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks, Shannon! Obviously, I totally agree with you. It’s funny because I had every intention of writing a mostly serious post about prenuptial agreements. Whenever I read the ridiculous quotes used in that USA Today article, I just couldn’t help myself. 🙂

    Reply
    Doretta

    Hi Shannon,

    I have to agree with your response to Dustin. The examples seem almost ludicrous. Unfortunately, our present day statistics show that one out of every two marriages end in divorce. That is the reality. I think it is a “no-brainer” when a young couple starting out in life on equal footing need not concern themselves with a pre-nup. The typical wedding vows include “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better for worse, etc. (not particularly in that order). ” The reason why those unconditional vows were composed are because there is just no way to predict the future, so one’s only assurance is to make sure you’ve been with someone a really long time before marriage and know their history well and if they place a high regard on ethics, morals and a respectful standard of fairness. In other words, make sure you know them well make sure they have learned the positive lesson from any circumstance of life and not the negative.

    Sorry for going off on a tangent, I am a 57 year-old woman and have learned a lot of lessons; my premise is to convey any wisdom I have gleaned from my own hardships onto young, good-intentioned people.

    My question for you, is a technical one, did you mean to refer to “an exit plan” as opposed to an “exist plan”? The blog is over a year old, so maybe I have missed a correction or a new phrase that I don’t know about.

    Sincerely,

    Doretta

    Reply
    Christopher

    Sorry Shannon,

    But what you wrote is dumb. Its not in case “I” change my mind. It’s in case “She” loses her mind.
    My divorce was finalized 2 days ago, and If I ever do get engaged again it will be known that a pre-nup will be signed the second time around.

    I loved my first wife, worshiped her, and she cheated on me. Then she tried to get me to pay off her debt and her student loans. Sorry. I won that case thanks to a good lawyer, and he will be the guy I use if I get married again to a pre-nup.

    I am going to inherit over a million dollars someday (hopefully not for many, many years) but there is no way in hell another cheating whore is going to get half that money.

    Women are crazy. Period. I have watched my wife, and 3 of my friends ex-wives go crazy and run off with other guys. Anyone who does not get a pre-nup is a retard.

    Reply
      J

      Christopher,

      I know you’re hurting mate, but it goes both ways. When my exhusband demanded a divorce to marry one of his mistresses, he not only took me for half of what I had – he took me for everything.

      He walked away with the only asset of the marriage (a rather larger superannuation figure), while I was left with all the debts (as half were in my name only even though he took the money, and the other half were joint loans and he immediately declared bankruptcy), and he ripped my parents off for a lifetime of their savings as well. And to add insult to injury, he got out of spousal support (which people rarely qualify for here in Australia, I was eligible) because I couldn’t afford a real lawyer and legal aid (the only free service) told me wrong information. And even now, he owes me a fortune in unpaid child support.

      It’s not that WOMEN are crazy. It goes both ways. I have numerous friends (way more than just 3), who had their exhusbands abuse them for years, run off with their mistresses and take EVERYTHING, not just half.

      I’m with you mate that I think prenups have their place – except I’m firm believer that a prenup should just be whoever cheats or abuses walks away with nothing and the other person gets everything.

      But there is absolutely no reason to attack ALL women’s characters, and it’s not nice to call someone dumb for having a different opinion or call someone retarded because they disagree with you on taking out a prenup. I know you’re hurting and angry – I worshipped my first husband too, and he spent nearly a decade bashing me and cheating on me with dozens (maybe hundreds) of women and men. But there is no point in taking out that hurt on others.

      Now that your divorced is finalised, it’s time to move on and heal. The pain will always be there a little, but you need to let as much of it go as you can.

      Reply

Great post! I couldn’t agree with you more. I think prenups are just a bad idea – planning for the failure of your marriage. Why even get married if you don’t plan on it being forever?

As for your questions:

Do you have a prenuptial agreement?
~ Nope. We don’t.

Do you think they are a good idea, always bad or sometimes okay?
~ I can see the examples you made, but I think planning for divorce is just a bad, bad idea. Especially given my feelings on faith. If we’re planning on our marriage truly being forever, why do anything to contradict that?

What if your daughter got engaged but her fiance required a prenup? What would you say under that scenario? No foul language, please 😉
~ I would tell her to seriously reconsider marrying him. Why does he want a prenup? Marriage is forever, and one should approach it as though it will be. But, if she still insisted on marrying him (which I’m sure she would – love does that), I’d be supportive – and prayerful!
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Whatcha Reading Wednesday =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Awesome, Heather! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. Whenever you come from a faith background that considers marriage a covenant, it’s tough to reconcile how a prenup makes any sense.

    Reply

Hey Dustin,

I’m inclined to agree with you 100%. Prenups in general seem to be that safety net under the trapeze of marriage. Why spend years and years training and working hard at learning how to do it right if you know there’s something there to catch you if you fall? (Nothing like a circus metaphor to talk about marriage, huh??)

That being said, I also agree with your comments about where prenups can come in handy. It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that there are many blended families out there now due to divorce, remarriage, and other things. The other sad fact is that there is many a potential spouse out there who purposely seeks out a particular mate based on the size of their pocketbook rather than genuine motivations. If there is a huge difference in wealth, it makes sense to have the prenup if for no other reason than to protect your assets.

However, having a prenup to lay out expectations for weight gain, sexual intimacy (frequency or otherwise) and other such things is nothing short of disgusting to me.
.-= Sarah K´s last blog ..The Plan =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks, Sarah K! It sounds like our thinking is matched up exactly on this topic. I couldn’t believe some of the things that were included (with a straight face) in prenups in this article!

    Reply
Sarah

No only are pre-nups a way to “plan the divorce” but they perpetuate the still-single mentality that approaches life with “I have your stuff, you have mine.” It’s like drawing a line down the center of your home. Whatever happened to creating a life *together*?

And stipulating various behaviors in pre-nups was news to me… wow. It’s bad enough to divide your material goods up before marriage, but to talk about your SPOUSE as if he or she is a material good? I mean, are we mail-ordering our spouses? “I want the 150 – 175 lb model. I’ll ship him back and demand a refund if he’s the wrong size!”

Honestly, this reveals to me a sad attempt to control our happiness… we think we if we can make sure certain factors come together, we’ll be “happy.” It’s the same problem with cohabiting… it’s often fear-based. “Well if I try him out for awhile, maybe I can minimize risk.” Sorry, love is risky. It will always be risky. It’s only faith in God that can offer us the peace we need when making such a huge leap such as marriage.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks so much, Sarah! I totally agree with you as I come from a mindset and spiritual perspective where marriage truly means the two become one. Yours and mine just doesn’t apply.

    And I totally agree with the ridiculousness of stipulating marital behavior standards through legal agreements. Crazy!

    Reply
    Rachel

    Sarah
    You hit the nail on the head regarding perpetuation of the single mind set. My guy wants me to sign a “cohabitation agreement” which is the same for when you live together (except we don’t even live together – talk about extreme paranoia!). He might have a bit more than me in assets but nothing worth arguing over really.

    So I think to myself, ok if i sign this silly piece of paper then as far as im concerned that’s the line in the sand. i stand to gain much more financially over the next 20 years, so why should he be able to protect his stuff now and then potentially get half of whatever i bring in during our time together.

    sorry buddy but you can’t have your cake and eat it too!! then i think why even bother continuing a relationship with someone who obviously expects us to break up. in all honesty it makes me sick to my stomach. what does he think of me as a person (that i could be the type of person to take what was not mine). shy does he even bother to enter into any relationship if its based on some sort of financial decision rather than an emotional investment? seriously just spend your money on hookers so you don’t have to worry about gettign financially done over. it just brings the relationship to a you and me status instead of “us”. and that’s the part I have a problem with.

    gotta say this is seriously doing my head in. I love him but have lost something although i cant name what it is. perhaps ‘respect’?

    anyway i guess i’ll figure it out but it really has me totally reassessing my future with him. I wonder if he realised that it would have such a huge impact on me? do i stay with him and accept his craziness or call it quits now (since he obviously expects it to end anyway and isn’t this just the power of attraction drawing failure to our relationship anyway?). i mean really surely i’d find an equally great guy elsewhere who wants to commit emotionally as well yeah??

    ahhhh decisions decisions,time will tell…..

    Reply
Tiffany

I dated a man who owned a law firm for a while. He made it really clear to me really early on that if we were to get married, he would need me to sign a prenuptial agreement that stated I had no right to any portion of the law firm should we divorce. His view was that 1) he sacrificed for years before meeting me to build it and 2)since I was a non-lawyer and could not own a law firm legally, he would have to sell the firm and it would jeopardize all of his employees. I understood the first issue slightly and the second issue entirely. We ended up not lasting.

I do understand when there are businesses or large sums of money that a prenuptial agreement might help calm family fears over estates. Statistically, 50% of marriages do end in divorce and I can see where in the case of divorce, the agreement might keep people from becoming monsters over money.

However…

…never in 1 million years would I sign a prenup that addressed issues of weight, behavior, etc. WHO DOES THAT?!

“Oh, honey, I love you today because you are so perfect. But…if you get in a car accident and are horribly disfigured…I may have to rethink that. If I do, I want to be sure that I’m financially not going to be impacted because you were so unlucky.”

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you for sharing this perspective, Tiffany. Like I said above, I can see isolated situations where a prenuptial agreement could have merit. But certainly not for the purposes of controlling behavior!

    Reply
Tiffany

Also…on the topic of Suze…

I am not overly familiar with all of her material, but I know she tends to cater towards women. From what I have seen of her, she tends to be pretty blunt overall and perhaps it isn’t that she has man hate, but that she’s aware that (again, statistically) after a divorce, most women live in poverty while a man’s quality of life (financially) tends to increase.

Perhaps she’s trying to encourage women to be able to support themselves even if something horrible (death or divorce from a spouse) means that they have to?

Just a thought.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks again, Tiffany. On the topic of Suze Orman, I should clarify that I didn’t make my statement lightly or based on that single quote. I am actually very familiar with her work, and I’ve read at least one of her books. I’ve even been known to watch her TV show in the past (it can be entertaining for numerous reasons).

    It’s just my opinion, of course, but she sure SEEMS to have an underlying distaste and distrust of men. I know she caters to a female audience, but my exposure to her has convinced me that she has no use for marriage and she constantly makes the assumption that any male figure is the source of all problems in a relationship. Her recurring advice to married women that call into her TV show is that they should be stashing away a SECRET account so they’ll be ready to bail when things go bad.

    I think she’s a man-hater.

    Reply
      Tiffany

      Wow. I did not know that she thinks women should have a ‘secret’ account. That is crazy! I would be really upset if I discovered Nick had a separate account ‘just in case’ he wanted to bail and I know he would feel the same if I did that. You’re right in that underlying marital problems can be caused by either the guy, the girl or lack of communication.

      Reply
      Samantha

      She is a Lesbian … so she does not have any use for a man … LOL She has been out of the closet a while now

      Reply
Sarah

Tiffany – It sounds like this man you dated had some good points, however, my father is a lawyer who owns his own firm and there is no pre-nup with his wife. They both trust each other to take care of what the other built and feel they share a life together and their finances belong to each other (my stepmom owns her own counseling practice, too). I am not worried about the future for them, financially, legally or relationally! I wish it were the same for everyone.

Reply

“Personal-finance expert Suze Orman encourages every engaged couple to get prenuptial agreements to protect their current and future assets as well as to shield themselves in case a mate secretly runs up massive credit card debt (which could damage both partners’ credit scores)”

I try not to take marriage advice from gay women (even if they do have a “life partner”).

Reply
    Dustin

    You said it, Andy! 🙂 As a general rule, I would have to agree with you on this one. In her case, though, she just gives BAD advice!

    Reply
Sarah S.

Haha, Andy, that’s funny. I used to be a fan of Suze Orman, but after taking some of her advice from a couple of her books I wound up with several thousand dollars in credit card debt! “You’re just starting out. It’s okay to use your credit card to buy all those fancy clothes and shoes because it is an investment in your career (you can’t climb the ladder, if you don’t look the part). In a few years you will be able to pay off all the credit card debt because you will be successful (financially) in your profession.” Boy, was she wrong! And I was super wrong to take her advice! I think she is the worst financial advisor I have ever heard including her thoughts on credit card debt, other types of debt, prenups, reverse mortgages . . . pretty much everything she speaks on.

Anyway, in regards to your questions, Dustin – I am not for prenups in any way shape or form.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks, Sarah S.! You have done a great job of demonstrating the typical POOR advice that Suze Orman spews forth on a wide variety of financial issues. I personally can’t believe she’s considered any kind of financial guru!

    Reply
      Wendy R

      Sarah, I heard her spewing the same advice once. It was mindblowingly bad advice. Another Suze tidbit I heard: a stay-at-home mom wanted to know some easy ways to trim the family budget. Instead of emphasizing the thrift angle and providing any number of tips on trimming grocery, phone, mortgage bills, etc., Suze told her she needed to get a job. Suze actually scolded her for not earning any money (“What would you do if your husband left you tomorrow?”). I’m sure the lady was left feeling inadequate and without any additional financial planning savvy.

      Reply
Jen

To me pre-nup = I love you and want to spend my life with you, but let me plan my escape! My personal feeling is that if I love, respect and trust my husband enough to marry him then I’m also trusting him to “fight fair”. If I can’t marry someone without feeling like I need a safety net, then I shouldn’t be marrying them in the first place.

It may be a strange way to qualify how much I love him but I have always told my husband that there is no one I would rather “fight” with than him. Even when we are angry at each other I still trust our love and concern for each other, and if life ever got so ugly that we can’t or don’t want to be together I trust that we will both act like adults and not try to take each other to the cleaners so to speak.

I can see in some situations where if one or both of the individuals have multiple business interest or are in a business that past acts can affect you way into the future ie Dr’s and malpractice suites, or stars that have music/movie/production company deals then I can sort of understand the need to get things in black and white just to clarify what could be a complicated legal situation. But still morally for me I would not be ok with a pre-nup.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you, Jen. You have shared some great insights! I really like your statement that there’s no one you’d rather fight with than your husband. When you stop to think about it, that is a statement that shows a lot of trust and mutual respect!

    And great examples on the few instances where a prenup could be understandable…though I’m still with you from a moral standpoint.

    Reply
    Harold

    All these posters – all women – have a definite slant – “that marriage is a contract that if disolved should involve – I DESERVE my share of assets that were not earned.”

    I was 40, and my wife was 23 – and I was wealthy before we met, and I felt no need to entitle her to half of anything, in case the marriage failed. I risked, I saved, and her conduct was to be reckless with money, no matter whose it was. If the marriage was working – then it is a moot point – but if not – why not insure against disaster. You women insure your cars, houses, life with insurances, but all of you seem totally hacked off by the concept of a man wanting to preserve accumulated wealth.

    Reply
      Bonnie

      Harold, divorce is, more often than not, financially ruinous for women – especially those of us who devote our life to raising children and keeping the home. When a couple marries and builds their wealth together, as my husband and I have, the wife IS entitled to her share in the case of a divorce. We don’t have a prenup, but should our marriage dissolve, we agree that I will walk away with half and that neither of us will try to abuse the other financially.

      Reply
Esther @Purpose Passion Purity

Just plain ugly…that’s what I think. I can’t even IMAGINE asking my fiance for a prenup. Perhaps because I don’t have money…BUT even if I did, I just never went into marriage thinking of divorce as an option. I mean, what a mood killer, trying to plan a honeymoon and a divorce all at the same time!

If anything, I sure have a greater appreciation for my marriage and the blessing that it is to me. I’m sorry that so many people have to go through these things…I can’t imagine a life like that. So thank you, Dustin, for your honesty, and for being willing to address the “tough stuff.”
.-= Esther @Purpose Passion Purity´s last blog ..Lessons Learned in Marriage, Part IV: “10 Ways to Change His Answer from “Yes, dear” to “Sure dear!” =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you for your great comment, Esther! I’m totally with you on the idea of going through prenuptial “divorce negotiations” while you’re planning your honeymoon. It just seems ridiculous to me.

    And I love your comment about how these types of posts make you appreciate your marriage even more. I couldn’t agree more. When I read some of the quotes from that USA Today article, I thought to myself “Is this a joke?” Unfortunately, for many couples it’s a sad reality.

    Reply
Dan Alcantara

Honestly, if Tracy had suggested a pre-nup, I’d be a single man right now. But we haven’t got any of the extenuating circumstances that have been mentioned (i.e. large amounts of wealth, businesses, family issues, etc). I do believe that there are certain instances where a pre-nup would be reasonable and even preferred, but they don’t come up very often.
.-= Dan Alcantara´s last blog ..Journey 1: Semi-Veg =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks, Dan! I suspected you might agree with my take on this issue. 🙂

    Reply

This was a great post on prenups, and I also agree with most of what you said, Dustin. I don’t have a prenup and never considered one.

However, I am reluctant to say that I agree that prenups are appropriate in any situation, even when there is a great disparity of wealth, adult children around, etc. I believe that prenups are always wrong. I really do think that the prevalence of prenups today has to do not only with the high divorce rate, but with the fact that marriage as an institution is generally misunderstood and under-valued. People who don’t understand marriage (or who don’t really want to commit to it) marry anyway. They want something of what marriage seems to offer, but without the sacrifice that it requires.

The best marriage advice I’ve ever received–by way of example from my parents–is that divorce is NOT an option. It’s not even on the table. Marital problems need to be worked out, because marriage is for life. A prenup shows that someone is thinking that the marriage is not going to last. I tend to think that this invalidates the marriage from the start.

While I understand the need of some people to escape their spouse (for abuse of them or their children, etc.), that is not something that should be planned for, but is a last resort. If you think your spouse might be an abuser or a criminal before you marry them, then why the heck are you getting married? Likewise, if you think the huge wealth differential is going to cause issues, or if you think that they are likely to be unfaithful in the future, why the heck are you getting married? Any sane marriage counselor would advise you to wait.

Anyone who thinks that having an “escape plan” in place for marriage, frankly, should not be getting married, because they don’t understand what kind of commitment it is. Divorce (and even, I would argue, remarriage) tends to undervalue marriage as an institution (and as a sacrament or covenant, for those of us who believe it is). Prenups only encourage the under-valuing of marriage, as the ridiculous examples you cited from USA today showed.

– Rachel
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Last Night’s Dinner: Balsamic Chicken Parmesan =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thanks so much for your insight, Rachel. I really appreciate it!

    To clarify, I would never consider a prenup either because I, like you, consider marriage to be a covenant and lifelong commitment. There are several aspects of marriage where I have strong feelings (contraception being one), although I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In this case, I have a hard time seeing how anyone (regardless of their spiritual beliefs) could see a prenuptial agreement as a good idea. That said, I tried to stretch my mind and imagine situations where a prenup could even be reasonable…and I found only two (and even these wouldn’t convince *me* to use one)! 🙂

    Reply
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Reply
Kelly

Suze Orman–UGH. Ok, I think I covered that base. She is definitely a man-hater.

I’d be completely shocked and appalled if any of my children were to sign a pre-nup. What is it the Bible says about love? It is not self-seeking.

I enjoyed this post, as I do the other posts and don’t get around to commenting nearly as much as I’d like to. Keep up the good work, Dustin.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you, Kelly! I love hearing from others who share my views on Suze. 😉

    And I love reading your comments…keep them coming!

    Reply

Dustin, I agree with you. Mr. Boomer didn’t ask me for a prenup even though I was his third wife and at the time he had more assets than I. I guess he was just a believer.

It worked as we are getting ready to celebrate 15 years next month.
.-= Bucksome Boomer´s last blog ..I’m up to the Alexa Challenge…The Yakezie Way =-.

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    Dustin

    Thanks, Bucksome. And congrats on your upcoming 15 year anniversary!

    Reply
Amanda B.

I’m a newlywed, so I may be naive, but I feel that if there are things you have to work out in a legal document before you get married, you shouldn’t be getting married. There are a lot of things my husband and I don’t agree on, but we love and respect each other enough to know that if an issue comes up, we’ll work it out somehow. Instead of putting rules and boundaries in a document, maybe these couples should try and actually talk about things and compromise like a team instead of being so selfish. I was with my husband for two years before getting married, and the way we knew we were ready for marriage was that no matter what came up, we could always talk about it. That’s what a marriage, a team, is all about.

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    Dustin

    Excellent, Amanda B! You are not naive, you are totally correct. I love hearing from young couples who value their marriage and understand what it takes to have a great one. Please keep contributing with your valued perspective!

    Reply
daniele

Just a little FYI for you Dustin, for us Catholics, a Pre-Nup renders our marriage invaild, as obviously we have no intention of it being forever if we are planning its demise before we say I do. You may know that already but I just thought I would fill you in in case you did not.

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    Dustin

    Hi, Daniele! I’m so glad that you are back from your internet fast over Lent. Happy Easter! 🙂

    And it’s a good thing because you just taught me something very valuable. It makes total sense now that I think about it, but before I read your comment I did not know that a prenup invalidated a Catholic marriage. Thank you for teaching me this!

    Reply
      daniele

      No problem. I am glad to be back in the internet world, but I learned a lot while I was away. Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family!

      Reply
Ted

I am married and we have no pre-nup. I think we had 10 grand combined to our name when we were married so a pre-nup wasn’t in the equation anyways.

Let’s say for arguments sake something tragic happens to the wifey. (SAD) and she dies- later in life I get re-married. I would consider a pre-nup then. Because I would have taken years to build up a net worth, savings, retirement etc. But the only reason/clause I would put in the pre-nup would be for an affair or illegal treatment of my kiddos. That covers legit reasons for divorce from the bible and for a situation that would turn real scary. I view marraige as a life-long covenant with God- but you know, life happens sometimes. A pre-nup for a few specifics later in life would be a good idea. Thanks for the thoughts on this though.

I would think about recommending it for my non-christian friends though if they do have a good amount of cash. Life is to sticky sometimes and it might be a good protection. Especially for women.
.-= Ted´s last blog ..Retire? =-.

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    Dustin

    Thanks for your thoughts, Ted. Life is certainly unpredictable, and I find it best to stick with my principles. For me, that would mean no prenup under any circumstances, but I certainly appreciate your perspective.

    Reply

Hmmm… very insightful article and post. I also think that marriage should be for life. So for the most part, I don’t think pre-nups are a good idea. However, I know that life can get complicated, and it’s not really just a series of right or wrong decisions. Not everything is black and white, but there are gray areas sometimes.

But I will say this though. How about instead of drafting up an agreement on who gets the different assets if things don’t work out, you draft up an agreement on how to work out the various difficulties, conflicts, and disagreements that may come up? That sounds like a better plan to me if two people are committed to spend the rest of their lives together. Just my two cents. Thanks for making me think a bit more.
.-= Darren´s last blog ..Selecting An Insurance Company – The Key Factor To Consider =-.

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    Dustin

    Excellent thoughts, Darren! Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a detailed plan of how we were going to handle our *marriage* rather than our divorce?

    Reply
Julie

I know a lot of people are going to hate me for this, but I disagree with all the criticisms of pre-nups.

Having lost a beloved spouse to divorce and three years on, STILL trying to pay off the debt he ran up in my name (some of it entirely without my knowledge as he was more than willing to find ways to borrow money in my name only behind my back – which is a crime but good luck proving it!), you look at things a little differently.

I TOTALLY disagree that pre nups are about YOU wanting an escape clause. In fact, totally the opposite – it’s because you can never entirely know someone, even someone who appears to be a genuinely serious christian, and you never know when they might to decide run off with their lover.

My husband and I went into our marriage with nothing. During our marriage we earnt roughly the same amount, however during our marriage roughly 3/4 of our income went on a combination of bad debts he had run up before our marriage, bad debts he stupidly ran up during our marriage and on his drug addiction. And when he demanded a divorce to marry one of his many mistresses, due to ridiculous laws (not just divorce ones), he got the only asset of our marriage (superannuation despite there being laws in place that is supposed to stop this from happening) and I got stuck with all the debt – debt I will probably spend the rest of my life paying back.

I was eligible legally for spousal maintenance, but again,due to legal wrangling, missed out. He also pays no child support despite a good job (he owes me many thousands of dollars but keeps finding ways out of it – I’ve received $23 in the last year – considering my daughter has special needs, that wouldn’t even cover half the cost of one day of her life – when legally he is supposed to contribute half of the cost of her upbringing – my elderly grandmother supports my daughter more than her own father does).

But ironically, it’s not my situation that has formed my opinion of prenups although it has affirmed it.

Too many wonderful christian women I know have married men who appear to be loving christian men – only to discover after the ring is on the finger that these men are abusive, alcoholics, drug addicts and/or serial cheats.

A prenup is like car insurance – you don’t say “hey I won’t get car insurance because I’m a good driver and I plan to never have a crash” (my husband did that and wrote off his car and still owes money over it five years later). you get insurance because there are plenty of other uninsured drivers out there and if they smash into you and then declare bankruptcy, you never get the money from them and any damage to you and your car is then on your head.

With a prenup it’s the same – just because YOU go into for life, doesn’t mean you can be 100% sure your spouse feels the same. The prenup is to protect YOU in case your spouse decides to abandon you or cheats on you or the abuse is so bad you have to flee.

I have seen too many wonderful christian women’s lives destroyed by being abandoned by cheating husbands running off to marry their mistresses. One man who I looked up to as a child (my soccer coach) kicked his wife and kid out of the house the kids had spent their entire lives in so it could be sold to basically pay for his pregnant mistress to come to Australia. His poor wife never saw it coming – none of us did. This guy appeared to be an upstanding christian man, heavily involved in doing things in the church, appeared to be an all around nice guy – he just happened to have been getting it on with a woman behind his wife’s back for many years. Eventually when she got pregnant, she had the influence to demand she become more than just a mistress.

Sad thing is, he’s entirely unrepentant and left our church and just began over in a church with his mistress, pretending that he’s still an upstanding christian man – while screwing over his poor wife and kids who are still picking up the pieces a decade later.

Same thing happened to my poor aunt – except my loser uncle was a pastor when it all came out he’d been seeing prostitutes behind his wife’s back – all throughout his entire as a pastor, all throughout his time at bible college, pretty much their whole marriage. And since he managed the finances and she never questioned him (she trusted him 110%), she just thought his pay was low and that’s why they were living in poverty – rather than the truth which is he got paid alright, but was blowing it on prostitutes.

No one plans to have these things happen, but sometimes they do – a prenup can protect you from when your spouse wants to run off with their lover and leave you with nothing.

To answer the questions:

Do you have a prenuptial agreement?

No but wish I had.

Do you think they are a good idea, always bad or sometimes okay?

It depends on WHY the person wants one and what they include.

What if your daughter got engaged but her fiance required a prenup? What would you say under that scenario?

I would tell her to consult her mother and a lawyer before signing anything, find out WHY the guy wanted one, what his attitude towards it, what was in it and did it protect my daughter if he were to do the wrong thing by her (ie that it’s an equal agreement not one sided).

I probably have a different view of what prenups should include compared to most people though – to me a prenup should be simple – if a person cheats or abuses, they should leave with nothing and their victim gets everything. Some marriages are just plain awful (my ex husband and the mistress he married both are violent to each other and both cheat on each other) in which case, a 50/50 split is fair enough if both parties are cheating or abusive.

But seriously, I’m a firm believer it’s a good idea to sign a prenup that says if the marriage breaks up because one person cheats or is abusive (regardless of who decides to do the breaking up), that the victim should get everything.

It’s an added encouragement for those who might struggle with sin of adultery or abuse to not do these things too – as the threat of losing all their material wealth might lead them to not risk doing these things – or if they do give into temptation, it would be the encouragement to make things right with their spouse rather than running off with their lover.

It takes two people to make a marriage work, and only one to rip it to pieces. Seriously, just because you go into a marriage believing it is for life and beieving your spouse feels the same way, doesn’t mean they do.

I went into marriage believing it was for life, and I fought very hard to save my marriage despite many years of being abused very violently and even after it all came out he’d been having long term affairs with at least three women (one including someone I thought was a best friend) and casual sex with hundreds of men and women. To me, marriage was for life. Even though biblically with his cheating, I had grounds for a divorce, but I loved him and wanted to work things out.

Unfortunately he wanted to marry one of his mistresses (which one he wanted to marry changed several times – which is how unimportant marriage turned out to be to him) and with no fault divorce laws, he could demand one and get one and not even have to try to work things out (they only require counselling if you are married less than two years, we were married 9 years).

It’s painful to think that while I was planning to surprise him with something special for our 10th wedding anniversary, he was planning to surprise me with running off with one of his mistresses.

If I had any idea, I never would have married him in the first place. But when we were married, he seemed to be a good loving person who was genuinely a christian. We didn’t rush into marriage – we were engaged for nearly 18 months first and had been close for several years before that. He had a past before he became a christian, but it seemed genuinely to be in the past and I know lots of great christian guys who had pasts before they became christian and they’ve never gone back to them – in fact he’s the only one I know who has.

But back to the core of the matter – I don’t see prenups as a bad thing if they are created to encourage a couple to work things out if there are difficulties and to protect a person from a spouse doing the wrong thing.

If my boyfriend proposed and asked for a prenup, I’d have no problem with it – I’m still in debt because of my exhusband and my boyfriend has assets he has a right to protect as they have been gained through hard work and dedication. As long as the agreement was something that encouraged us to work things out if there are difficulties and was designed to protect one of us if the other did the wrong thing, I’d be totally ok with it – I know I’m not ggoing to cheat on or abuse him, and if it were put that they were the two things that allowed him to walk away with everything, then what is there to lose?

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank for this incredibly heartfelt and personal comment, Julie. I actually just read and responded to your comment on Joint vs. Separate Bank Accounts, so I really feel your pain and understand that your ex-husband had a major drug addiction in addition to all of the terrible things you’ve outlined here. I am so sorry for all he has put you and your daughter through. It really makes me sick.

    As far as prenups go, I really wonder if that would have helped in your case even if you could have foreseen these terrible events. I suppose it could have resulted in a court order that he be responsible for the debts, but the problem is the law only goes so far in these cases. For example, he is BY LAW supposed to be paying you child support now but it doesn’t make him actually pay. Even if he was told by a court to do something under the conditions of the prenup, I’m still not sure that these agreements can actually control someone as wildly irresponsible and uncaring as your ex. Of course, I’m no lawyer so I don’t know this to be true.

    I have to say that if I were to support a prenuptial agreement, the simple approach you’re promoting certainly makes the most sense. However, I’d prefer that the divorce laws be structured to have this same effect instead. You cheat, you abuse, you lose.

    Thank you again, Julie, for sharing your incredible story.

    Reply
Josh

Ooh, now isn’t this an interesting blog. Bookmarked ya!

Prenups are scary, hairy little things, but I’m for them and I’ll tell you why.

I’m religious, and to me, marriage is a God-ordained institution first and foremost. However, somewhere along the line the government felt it had to get involved. As a result, marriage is now an institution regulated and governed by the law.

You cannot opt out of these laws. You cannot politely decline to abide by a court ruling. Your personal/Christian definition of marriage counts for nothing unless it is within the bounds of what is defined by the law. Therefore a good knowledge and understanding of the law is a pre-requisite to marriage, at least for me.

Now I trust the American court system and I believe they do a good job in a lot of areas. However, when it comes to decisions about my marriage, my finances and my children, I trust God and myself a little more than them. If a prenuptial agreement will allow me more decision-making power than the courts, I’d gladly seek one out. After all, it is the responsible thing to do.

I love the government, and I believe the American government is the best in the world. However, I am honest in acknowledging that they serve political and philosophical ideologies, not Christian morals and values.

Just my two cents.

Josh 🙂

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    Dustin

    Thanks Josh and welcome! I appreciate your thoughts, but I’ll still disagree with you. If anything, it seems that a prenup puts you square INTO the legal system and invites it into your marriage in areas where it otherwise has no authority. Like the examples above, I sure wouldn’t want my spouse to involve the courts in regulating my weight or household chore load. I do understand your perspective though, and I’m certainly glad you joined the discussion!

    Reply
Carnival of Personal Finance #252: Famous People With Tax Troubles Edition

[…] from Engaged Marriage presents Prenuptial Agreements; Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly? Personally, I think they’re ugly, but then again, my wife and I agreed a long time ago (over 20 […]

Reply
Sarah

I’d have to disagree that the law wrongly “got involved” on a religious institution. Marriage was created (by God) as part of the natural law. It is common for the gov’t to recognize and affirm the natural law (“Thou shalt not murder” is also an example of natural law, and we have no qualms about the gov’t affirming this! In fact, most Christians believe the gov’t has a duty to affirm natural law). Of course nowadays, the law has slowly turned against natural law (no-fault divorce is one example where in its application, the “human law” often undermines the natural law.) I think that’s where we need to recognize problems (for example, if a spouse can leave another for any vague reason like “irreconcilable differences,” than yes your financial well-being is much more vulnerable). Still, as Christians we can hold unions to higher standards and in some states, there’s been enough of a consensus where the law now reflects natural law again (some states offer an option to have what is called “‘covenant marriage” where divorce is legally much more difficult). I would rather opt for a legal “covenant marriage” as a means of “protection” and affirmation than opt for a pre-nup.

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    Dustin

    Thank you, Sarah! While I’m certainly aware of a covenant marriage in the spiritual sense (I’m in one 🙂 ), I was not aware that this term was being applied in a legal sense. It sounds like something I’d be supportive of.

    Reply
Josh

Hi Sarah.

I don’t believe the law got involved wrongly. I just believe it is inept when it comes to marriage. It does not sufficiently distinguish between a divorce undertaken for legitimate reasons or a frivolous divorce. It also does not accurately value the contributions of the man and wife in the case of divorce.

However, I had never heard of Covenant marriages before. Thanks for bringing it up. The first question that comes to my mind is whether Covenant marriages are respected outside of states where it is instituted.

If a person get’s into a covenant marriage in a state that respects it, but then moves to a state that doesn’t respect it and a divorce is initiated, then what?

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Sarah

Josh – I am no lawyer, but it’s quite possible these marriages are recognized across many state lines? I don’t know how all the in’s and out’s, in fact I’m probably butchering this response :), but my father, a lawyer, would often have to travel to the state where the marriage took place to represent clients in divorce and custody battles. This gave me the impression that the state the marriage takes place in has some level of “jurisdiction” should divorce come up later, after moving to a different state.

But like most contracts, the original terms should be referred to if someone wants out. If a couple has a Covenant Marriage in Arizona, any decent judge in another state would do well to at least consider that in the divorce proceedings. And I don’t think Covenant Marriage would carry the same issues as say, same-sex marriage (which really deals more with the definition of marriage whereas covenant marriages do not deal with that core issue but simply are marriages that “waive” some of the divorce options up front). I don’t know how many states have adopted the “Covenant Marriage” option, but it’s more than one.

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Sarah

Okay, Louisiana and Arizona have Covenant Marriages. These are “heavy-duty” marriage licenses that the couple can apply for. In doing so, I think they agree to premarital counseling, strictor conditions for divorce (only “big reasons” such as abuse are allowed), counseling before divorce if the couple is considering it, and I believe longer wait period for a divorce.

I am not easily finding answers on crossing state lines. Some say the “full faith and credit clause” should be enough to ensure a covenant marriage “travels with you.” Others say no. Still, this is an issue that doesn’t just plague covenant marriages. Laws about divorce vary from state to state already. For example, in VA a couple must wait 2 years to get a divorce if one spouse doesn’t want it. This is not the case in Illinois. So I don’t think this dilemma is enough of a reason to throw out Covenant Marriages.

I will say it’s really sad to read some of the forums and debates on covenant marriage. Many perceive it as cultish, crazy or unrealistic. The reality is, this is what marriage WAS (legally) before no-fault divorce!!! It is no-fault divorce that is new and unusual.

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Josh

Hey Sarah, thanks a lot for the information.

The discrepancies with state laws and jurisdictions certainly complicates things. It looks like the legal definition of marriage supersedes what marriage is supposed to be and that is quite disappointing.

Thanks for the information though. Learning more about this motivates me to help promote Covenant Marriages where I live.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you Josh and Sarah for discussing the topic of Covenant Marriages. Very interesting!

    Reply
TXMom2B

I would never have had a prenup with my husband, and he says they are immoral, so no issue there. There is, however, one situation in which I would want to talk about it. If I become a widow at an old age, and later decide to remarry, I would need to talk to my husband, who would likely have his own children and grandchildren. Yes, our families would be blended, in a sense, but I would want my children and grandchildren to know about inheritance. I would also want my husband’s children and grandchildren to know what to expect about their inheritance. My grandfather recently remarried, and our family has never brought up money, for which I am proud of us. But I would hate for our new marriage to be tainted by money questions from our loved ones. So, in this case, the prenup is not about preparing for divorce as it is preparing for death, which is, of course, inevitable. The last thing I would want my grown kids and grandkids worrying about when I pass away is money. If they know beforehand what to expect, they can grieve in peace with those questions settled while I’m still alive. Hopefully I’ll never be in this situation, as I hope to be with my husband for the rest of my life!
.-= TXMom2B´s last blog ..Andrew’s New Room! =-.

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    Dustin

    Thanks so much TxMom2B (and sorry I missed your comment when you originally left it two weeks ago)! I get so much value out of hearing about specific examples and stories like the one you have shared. Like I mentioned, I do see a pre-nup as at least a reasonable consideration in those cases when remarriage is in play along with blended families. I think this would especially be true later in life as you’ve noted.

    Reply
Jessica

Dusin-

I am getting married in September, and will sign a prenup in May. I don’t think it is pre-planning your divorce, I think it is smart financial planning. Some top reasons for divorce are money and lack of communication, if a couple can’t communicate about money before marriage, it is hopeless. Also, after a divorce, a woman’s financial standard of living falls, and man’s goes up. At the end of the day, people change, and the best a couple can hope for is that they change together.

Jessica (LeAnna’s, quoted in the USA Today, sister)

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    Dustin

    Welcome, Jessica!

    I really appreciate you providing the perspective of someone who not only believes in prenuptial agreements but plans to sign one soon. I think we can totally agree on the fact that communication and the ability to communicate *very* well around the topic of money is vital for a healthy marriage.

    I think your last sentence (hoping that a couple changes together) sums up a major difference in our views on marriage, as I view marriage as a lifelong commitment and, more than that, a Covenant with God. I understand and respect your perspective, and it sounds like you and your fiance have decided that a pre-nup is the way to go in your relationship.

    I trust that we can agree to disagree on the value of prenuptial agreements, and I hope you find other valuable advice here at Engaged Marriage. Congratulations on your marriage in September!

    Reply
LeAnna

Dustin-Glad you found my comments in USATODAY helpful for your blog…I’m not asking that any business or a dime from any of those businesses be GIVEN to me. Nothing has ever been GIVEN to me, I paid for 50% (a rule my parents had if we want it we pay for half to help teach us savings/money) of my first car by working for a public library in my home town it was not GIVEN to me. I started my own business at the age of 23 it was not GIVEN to me, I had to be the one to educate my self in my industry, I had to pass those tests I had to study.
I would never call my sell a princess…far from it.
So a dime or any money from my grandparents from my parents or from my business will not be GIVEN to my ex husband. I have no problem sharing the wealth during the marriage but if worst case should happen what if he cheats on me and I pack up and leave him…he should then be GIVEN my families money? As what a parting gift ?

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    Dustin

    LeAnna,

    As I noted in the emails we’ve exchanged, I’m really grateful that you found this post and offered your point-of-view. I do apologize for the negative tone of my remarks, and I think your comment helps to put things into a better context. The tone of the USAToday article certainly led me to think you were in fact a “princess,” but I feel like I now stand corrected on that point.

    I was obviously being overly sarcastic with this post (though it was a true reaction to how I felt when I read the USAToday examples). I’m glad you were able to see the humor in it and not be overly offended (as I probably would have been). I think that shows a lot of class on your part.

    As I noted in my response to your sister above, we can agree to disagree on the value of prenuptial agreements. I don’t like them, and you do, and that’s okay! I love getting dissenting opinions, as all of us in the Engaged Marriage community learn the most when we get to hear from a variety of viewpoints.

    Keep in touch, and I look forward to hearing more from you here on the blog!

    Reply

To begin thinking about what your future spouse WILL NOT be getting in the case of a future divorce before you ever even get married is a jinx on that marriage.Financial planning is one thing, plan it together. You would be better served to plan your finances together and growing together as a couple in the process. It is a whole lot better than having some “what if” hanging over your marriage dooming it from the very beginning.

To me, it comes off as greed and being afraid that someone will get something from you just because you couldn’t make it work out. The person that benefits the most and has less to lose because of a prenup also has way less incentive to give it their all. When you have nothing to lose you are not going to step up to the plate in order to fix that marriage. To me this is like removing personal responsibility from your choices by avoiding the consequences of your bad judgment. If you hold yourself accountable right from the start with a decision as big as marriage, you wouldn’t have to be so afraid that you blindly accepted the compulsive gambler because he was cute and fun at the time.

To me it shows a complete lack of trust for the person that you supposedly love so much that you have decided to marry them.

“I LOVE YOU…BUT I don’t know you well enough to know if I can trust you if things ever get hard.” If you can’t trust the character and integrity of the person you are marrying then maybe you should NOT be getting married to them. Just a thought.

This kind of agreement muddies up the beauty that is marriage by dooming it from the very start. Even if I had a million dollars before I got married to my wife, signing a prenup would of been the last thing on my mind. I think prenups are for people who do not take marriage as serious as they should. Hollywood with their infinite number of marriages in their lifetime are a big indicator of how serious people who draft prenups take the act of marriage.

Marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. Those that do, are the ones that consider a prenuptial agreement financial planning. Ludicrous!!

A marriage should not feel like a business deal!
.-= Brad´s last blog ..Does Taking Advice From An Expert Relieve You Of Responsibility? =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    I love your passion, Brad! As you know, I generally agree with your comment and your view of prenuptial agreements. I think your last sentence sums up it very well!

    Reply
Poor Guy

As the poor guy referenced above, I do think it’s a bit hypocritical to criticize LeAnna’s comments regarding protecting family wealth, and then in your last couple paragraphs say a prenup could potentially be necessary in situations where family wealth or an imbalance of wealth is involved.

And as some people have already mentioned above, we don’t all live in a utopia and sh%t does happen as evidenced by a 50% divorce rate. I personally think it’s a sign of a strong relationship when both parties can actually communicate regarding finances before and during a marriage.

Reply
    Dustin

    Hi Poor Guy! 🙂

    I first want to apologize once again. As I noted in my response to LeAnna, I was being overly sarcastic and I read her remarks in the wrong context. I do not feel that she is actually a princess, and in fact I think her reaction to my post shows a great deal of poise and class. I’m sure you are a very *lucky guy*, and I wish you both the absolute best in your marriage.

    I think I addressed your specific points in my responses to Jessica and LeAnna, but please feel free to let me know if you would like any further clarification. At the end of the day, we’ll still disagree on this topic, which is what makes it so controversial and such a great point for discussion.

    I appreciate your insights, and I hope that you and your family find some other information of value here at Engaged Marriage.

    Reply
Craig

Dustin – I have a great chuckle you bloging my daughter and wondering why she should get the company. She has 3 siblings, and they all 4 will decide what’s best for themselves and the company.. They may choose to cash out..

BUT prenup’s should be done I encourage as you can tell. When it comes to family money, companies and gifts that should be kept on each side of the fence. NOW if they want to share in all of this with thier spouse that is thier choice.. But we have all seen realtionships go bad and all YOUR personal assets should be protected… No sense in the new wife enjoying things she was given to her by her father….

Reply
    Dustin

    Welcome, Craig! Can I just say I think it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to hear from not only your daughter, but yourself, her sister and her husband? And despite the overly sarcastic tone of the post, you have all generally been gracious and made your points with class. I really appreciate that as well as the opportunity to interact with you all.

    It’s clear that you have provided the guidance you feel is best to your daughters, and they really seem to respect that advice and hold it close to their heart. As a Dad, I can certainly appreciate that.

    I still disagree with the premise of a prenuptial agreement and the attitude that some individual assets should not become part of the marriage but instead held out “just in case” a divorce occurs. I know we won’t change each other’s minds on the issue, but I think that’s totally fine and I really enjoyed hearing your perspective.

    Reply

Man, this discussion is covering some serious ground – way cool!

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:28 “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” Turns out he was talking to singles of the 1st Century. Now, any of us married folk know what Paul meant. We face troubles deciding what kind of laundry detergent to use (the one that smells like a meadow or the one that smells like an ocean breeze…) He was talking to single people to remind them that there’s nothing wrong with staying single; as a matter of fact, the purpose of a person’s life might be fulfilled ONLY if he or she is single.

BUT, we live in America, where we get what we want. And what I want is a wedding and kids and a house and a picket fence and a big-screen television and a new car every three years, oh, and I want to stop feeling lonely. So, I get married to get what I want. And if that doesn’t work out, we’ll scrap it all and start over again. Because we get what we want.

Did you know that the 50% divorce rate is a misnomer? It’s more like an average. About 40% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages don’t make it, and 75% of third marriages end. At what point do we look at the state of marriages around us, and our own, and admit that (barring abuse) the answer to the problem is ourselves? That if I divorce my spouse, take the money and run because we had the forethought to get a pre-nup (hooray!), and try again, I might not be taking into account the true intent of marriage and my responsibility to making that relationship succeed?

Marriage was never intended to be self-serving, which makes it counter-cultural (Ephesians 5:22-30). I wonder how silly this conversation about pre-nups would be if more of us waited until we were able to serve our spouse’s needs – heck, serve anyone else’s needs but our own – before getting married. Those who marry will face many troubles; stay out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.
.-= Derek Sisterhen | Past Due Radio´s last blog ..103 Past Due – Buying & Selling Homes in Today’s Market =-.

Reply
    Dustin

    Thank you SO much, Derek! You are always so good at boiling things down and using the right references from Scripture to reinforce you points.

    All I can really say to your comment is “Amen” because I agree completely.

    It is my belief that one cannot enter into lifelong marriage without inhibitions and under complete free will if they have a legal contract in place outlining what happens if a divorce occurs. This is the reason the Catholic Church (those old-fashioned, Covenant-believing crazies 🙂 ) does not consider a marriage to be valid in the Church if a pre-nup is in place. I actually learned that fact in the comments to this post…you readers are awesome!

    Reply
Anthony Bennett

I’m in the weird kinda-sorta-almost-but-not-quite-engaged period, and I see the opportunities a pre-nup provides a little differently. I like the idea of covenant marriage that’s been passed in a few states, but I’m not optimistic about its chances here in Florida. With a prenuptial agreement, I can tailor my marriage to those parameters (as far as I can tell; I’m not a lawyer) and make my marriage de facto covenant.

For the record, the lady wholeheartedly disagrees.

Reply
How did Boris Becker’s wife sidestep their pre-nup? | free-personal-injury-lawyer

[…] Prenuptial Agreements: Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly? | Engaged … […]

Reply
Tad

Let me see if I understand this. You think that getting a prenup is bad because it means you someday plan to leave your spouse… but then in the same line of logic says that marriage without a prenup is good because it gives you a reason to stay with your spouse when you really want to leave.

Um… those two things sound the same to me (both include a preemptive measure for when you eventually want to get out of there).

If prenups are irrelevant because you would never leave your spouse, then marriage is also irrelevant for the same reason. If you’re in it for life, then why the legally binding marriage agreement?

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riccarun2

Recently, I was asked to sign a prenuptial agreement. I have my own home, retirement, and savings. He recently inherited and has a father nearing retirment from farming.

God has nothing to do with “Greed.” But, everything to do with a healthy relationship. I am okay with the prenuptial agreement concerning his inheritance and the family farm. My only issue is protecting my assets for my children. His agreement will clearly outline I am to keep all assets prior to our marraige. He will keep his. Our only sticking point is starting anew in his house that will need to be remodeled.

Our agreement is everything that we earn from the day we are married goes into 1 account. Everything prior to the marraige is off limits. Future inheritance goes to which ever party who inherits. Should that party wish to share great.

Any man or woman who is not looking out for their partner in the long run, the relationship isn’t built on God’s principles and is destined to fail.

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Nerus /bebeardt

I am in a real pickle. I am in a 4+ year relationship with a man who has amassed a large sum of money, business and wealth. He has family and employees to look out for and has promised as such. As per his fear of divorce (this would be his second marriage and my first), he wants me to sign a prenup to protect his family/employees, etc. I completely understand. These people have put their faith in him to take care of them and they are in fact his responsibility. I have a hard time agreeing to sign a prenup at all, but can see his point….divorce odds are stacked against us. However, by signing that he will give me .001%/month in the event of a divorce is an insult too large for words. He fears I love him for the money, wants to pay me such a small amount each month to keep divorce from looking attractive so I stay with him and not leave. And he’s made it very clear it’s not up for discussion. I do love him, don’t want his money and trust that he will look out for me for life. But my inner conflict is signing a document that affirms that he doesn’t trust me to NOT take his money. He earned it and works hard for it. The problem I anticipate is that he continues to point out all his money and, “you don’t get any of it!” How can I support him to do well with such an attitude? I think of myself as fair and honest and pure of heart. But his comments are making me irrate and feeling like a money grubbing whore….and any gain he makes is all for HIM and not for US. Again, I don’t want the money and want to be pure when I wish him well in and of itself as he says he wants me to be happy and not GET anything. But this attitude is making me steam!!!! I believe marriage should be a partnership—his wins my wins and losses, as well. I get it. How can I assure him I love him and also not sign a prenup beyond the existing property/wealth?

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Rosa

I have been confronted twice in my life to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. The first time in my mid twenties and so happy I did not marry this man. The second time later in my fourties, I was torn. I fell in love with a man who demanded I sign a prenup in case of divorce he did not want to loose his house. I felt resentment towards him and this was against my values going into a marriage. I understood he wanted his assests prior to marriage, but this requirement was too must for me to take. Heartbroken and torn having to end this, I found a man who full-filled my ideal man to marry and no prenuptial agreement was there and complete trust. I could not understand why a man required a prenuptial to protect himself from me. As for the prenup man he found a woman who would sign his prenuptial and she wanted one herself because they were on equal playing fields as he claimed. They both owned property and wanted to keep what was theirs. I don’t understand this kind of thinking and planning for a marriage. It did however break my heart knowing this man would not marry me unless I did this. I now feel that I have a real husband and a real marriage and what a true foundation of a traditional marriage is.

Reply
Plain marraige | Kimberlyanncollection

[…] Prenuptial Agreements: Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly? | Engaged[…] from Engaged Marriage presents Prenuptial Agreements; Good, Bad or Just Plain Ugly? Personally, I think they’re ugly, but then again, my wife and I agreed a long time ago (over 20 […] […]

Reply
Char

marriage is commitment. Either your in or out. Prenup is a slap in your face if you dont have trust. Dont consider marriage if your not willing to take the consequences with the “i DO” Sickness or Health. If you have faith, then struggles on earth may be financially hard, but those who pull the Whool over your eyes by lieing at the alter and bailing, will have a judgement to face in the afterlife. You make that choice to trust 100 pecent with knowing how the perosn is. If you complain after about the person messing you up later, then should have reconsidered that thought before you said yes. I only say this because its sad how the sacredness of marriage has been toiled by government laws and materialism. If you love someone love em hard and faithfully commit. If you doubt your love then dont love them, your faith is not their for them.

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Baptist Baby

I am sooooo glad to have found this sight with Christians on it…. When I was growing up Prenups were for rich old men who were marrying some 21 year old and the family wanted to make sure she was there for the love … (even though they knew good and well she was not)… I am not for prenups …. however if you are on your second marriage and want to protect children from a previous marriage than your best bet would be a living trust or a WILL….. I always wondered if people who sign prenups exchange the same vows the rest of us do…. Cause you sure do not mean them.. to me the idea that a man would as me to sign an agreement that says anything he earned while he was married to me should only be his is nuts….. and SELFISH… first of in most states your spouse is only entitled to what is made in marriage… so there is no need to protect assets you had before…. I think in all things you should pray pray pray with out ceasing … Many divorces could be avoided by prayer before marriage… the fact is that if your hubby is a whore hopper or an abusive man … believe me the signs will be there…. if your wife is one that would clean you out… trust me the signs are there… pray and ask the Lord to show you their true character… ask God to send you the one he created special for you …..If you do not pray for anything else pray for that…. make sure you are not soon in love that you can not see straight.. I told the Lord I always want to be able to hear your voice… even in LOVE….

Also prenups are an easy way out…. alot of me will cheat and act a fool if they know you wont get much in the split…. Also women … if you are going to sign a prenup I suggest you keep your day job…. Unless you marry a man that is going to pay you millions each year you are married … you need to maintain an income…. Because you will get screwed and will have wasted years….
Dustin I am over here laughing cause I had no idea SUZE ORMAN was a lesbo… LOL hahah explains ALOT….

But when in doubt about marriage always ask God…. my heart goes out to anyone who feels trapped or any man…. Dustin unlike Suze I have seen more Men screwed by women then the other way…. It always strange that the Boez or man of a women dreams always ends up with a crazy woman…..

God Bless you all…. and remember one thing…. WE LIVE IN THIS WORLD… BUT WE ARE NOT OF IT….. XOXOXOO

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Stranger

Hey guys…. really interesting article and comments. I am in a long term relationship and my partner asked me to sign a pre-nap agreement… well… I can’t understand one thing (I’m not western) why do we need one of those? Back home everything u own(properties, cars and so on) before u get married it is only yours, your husband/wife cannot touch it! But if you buy properties during your marriage becomes yours and you spouse. I think this is very fair so back home we do not have such dramas – sign or not sign. Plus when you get divorced you can ask the court to give you more that 50% of the properties you and your spouse bought during your marriage if you prove you contributed more than him/her.
The idea of prenap agreement is ridiculous! If you want to protect what you have don’t get married!

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Christopher

I just wanted to ad another comment.

The people on here saying getting a prenup means you expect a divorce, Is the same thing as saying getting health insurance means you are expecting to get cancer.

NO!

There is a 50% chance you are going to get divorced. Guess what…It’s not your choice either. You can do everything right as a spouse, and your spouse can still file divorce on you in a no fault divorce state and there is nothing you can do about it.

You cannot control another person or their actions. So why would you marry someone with no insurance to protect you if they do the wrong thing.

No matter how much I was in love with a women, if she refused to sign a pre nup because it wasn’t romantic, I would move on without here.

Going through a divorce is much less romantic. Trust me.

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Jeannette

My boyfriend (of almost 3 years that i live with) recently told me he wants me to sign a prenup. The conversation started out fine, we were talking about our future, I asked him when he sees himself having kids and if he wants to get married, etc. the subject has been a bit of a touchy one, his friends have been through a lot, his parents and now his boss’s wife wants to take him for all he’s got… Truely sad stories.

I asked him point blank if it was something he really wanted or something he felt he “had to do” ( I could never live with the fact that I am entering a relationship that isnt completely mutual). He said it was something he truly wanted…. Pause. I of course knew there was more to the story. It then came out….”I want to make sure the things ive worked for are protected if we get married…”

Dun dun dun….

I believe in the main theme of this article, I’ve been through some rough times myself, been cheated on in past relationships, etc. I have a decent job, should be getting promoted soon…he works in skilled labor, should also be getting a promotion soon… But no real assets or things to protect. Neither of us really have much to our names.

I would never ask him to sign anything, I trust and love him with all my heart. His reasoning is “I trust you now and want to be with you forever … But what if you change, people change…”

I have read almost every comment in this blog, I’m going back and forth and can see both sides. With him I truly think there are some deep seeded issues… Do I want to get into a marriage where I am constantly fighting for his trust and doing nothing wrong? Is this just the first step to signing off on mistrust in the relationship. If I sign something am I ultimately agreeing with him that it’s possible one of us. Luke change into something that awful where we would go after the well being of the other?

I don’t know if I am being over dramatic, it’s just a piece of paper right… And it would make a world of difference to him. I just can’t help my gut feeling and complete agreement in the statement: “why get married then”….

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me

I am pregnant and my fiance (the father of the baby) just told me he wants a prenup signed. “Insurance” and “Protection” for each of us, he claims. First I was angry. Then my response was “Ok, sign a custody agreement then on our unborn child saying I get 60% custody, since we are already planning our demise”. That made him angry.

He wanted to buy a house, boat, vehicle together.
I divorced once about 10 years ago, gave the guy everything and walked away because I felt so bad for leaving. My history should show that I wouldn’t take anyone to the cleaners.
I thought we would be together and this pre-nup thing just makes me want to vomit.
It seems he is planning our divorce already, and frankly I’m upset now that I am 6 months pregnant and stuck.

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Jacob Heckman

My opinion is that a Pre-Nup is a healthy thing if it protects both people, because cant you say for sure it will be truly forever. Religion and spirituality cannot keep a marriage together for much longer if it is truly doomed to failure. I believe it is a good way to protect both the husband and wife from any vengeful lawsuits that take away everything they have.

I have never been in a relationship but i believe in this firmly for the sake of a safety net as others have pointed out because nowadays it’s just stupid to trust someone because they ask you too.

I would hate it if my future spouse just decided that the savings account i have been building up is suddenly there property and they go on a vacation with it.

Or what if i decided she should pay me for every bit of financial problem she has ever cost me….

I personally would never do anything immoral but i am trying to make a point that in today’s society it’s a necessary evil, especially with the growing number of deceitful men and women who take their spouse through the car wash for the fun of it!

Reply
    Jacob Heckman

    The thing is i have been a victim of identity theft and i have been robbed several times so at this point i trust no one to have my best interest at heart, not even a potential spouse unless they are willing to prove they love em by signing a document that not only protects me but also protects them equally and keeps either one of us from destroying the other persons life if things should go to heck.

    I don’t consider it planning a demise but rather a smart move that only the gullible or ignorant would ignore!

    If she asked me to sign a prenup that was written this way i would sign it in a heartbeat because i would respect her all the more but either way i would fight to keep our marriage together until i lose what strength i have left.

    Reply
lori

i have been with my fiance 9 years we were best freinds the first 5 years ,he cohabitated with me for 2 years ,then i moved into his house for almost 2 years ,he is 37 iam 45 we are a perfect match in evey way ,we been engaged for 2 yars now,his income is 3x higher than mine ,he told me he wanted a prnup before i moved in , wich i saidyes to, we agreed that i would not get anything that he accumulted before we moved together ,so i go to sign the prenup papers and it states , whats his is his ,whats mine is mine ,i cannot get alimony ,i cannot touch anything that is in his name ,no pension, not investments nothing…..this is for his assets before we moved together and assets we gain while togther …. i have n problem with signing it if it stated i cant touch wha he accumulated before us ,but he wants me to sign something else that states i have no claim to anthing thats in his name that we accumulate while together ,he says that because he earns more than me ,naturally he will have moreinvestments than me and i should not be entitled to that , so now we are feuding over this wich is very hutful to me ,i thought i was being fair by agreeing to not take any thing that he accumlated before us ,but now i find out its eveything thats accumulated even while were together ,iused to feel secure and safe with him ,now i feel hes planning his future way out with a profit and no losses !

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Bonnie

Great article – I enjoyed your balanced perspective on the issue of prenups and your healthy sense of humor. I agree with most people that prenups can be useful when there is a huge disparity in income or a family business to protect. For example, if a woman was part owner of a large corporation along with her sister and her mother or father, it would make sense to draw a clear line between what was HERS and what was her sister’s and father’s in case assets had to be divvied up in a divorce. I wouldn’t want my failed marriage to destroy my family business or screw my sister out of her source of income.

Controlling behavior is off the table, no exceptions. Weight gain, intimacy frequency, etc. are not issues that should be set in stone or a legal document. Anyone that would sign or require someone to sign an agreement that they won’t ever gain weight is an idiot. Period.

Here’s what concerns me the most about prenups, though – you could end up punishing your children for your divorce or the transgressions of your spouse. For example, adultery clauses that bar a cheating spouse from taking any financial assets if his or her adultery results in a divorce. Divorced parents, especially those that spent many years out of the work force as stay at home moms or dads, generally never regain their earning potential. Also, the stay at home parent (mom, in most cases) usually gets custody of the children. By denying her alimony, retirement, real estate, or other assets the two of you acquired while together, you may subject your children to life in a low income bracket or possibly even poverty. You may screw them out of a college fund. Later in life, they may bear the burden of supporting their aging parent who has no retirement, no nest egg, and no income other than Social Security (assuming SS still exists by the time your ex is unable to work!). It’s just not fair to the children For one of their parents to kick the other one flat out on his or her butt. Stay at home moms are particularly vulnerable in a divorce, and I hate that some people don’t recognize the sacrifice and value of a parent that stays at home. Just because your wife didn’t bring home a paycheck while you were married does NOT mean she didn’t contribute to the family’s success and accumulation of wealth.

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peaofsweetness

I’ve enjoyed reading the posts and hoped they might help my current situation. My fiance (who is significantly more wealthy than me) has asked me to sign a prenuptial agreement. Naturally my logical understands why he would want me to, but my emotional side is really struggling with the feelings of lack of trust, not respecting my integrity, not committing to the marriage etc.

It’s six weeks away from the wedding day and my fiance has proposed that I have £125,000 lump sum whether the marriage lasts one year or more. So at 20 years I would receive the same.

I have sought legal advice (as you have to)and my solicitor advised that this was a paltry amount. Indeed, my fiance has just upgraded his car and spent £175,000!

This whole situation is making me feel so unvalued. His priority to retain his wealth rather than take a leap of faith is hurting me so much.

I am now beginning to question my decision to marry him, which was for love, building a future together …………… better for worse, richer or poorer, sickness or in health ………….. call me old fashioned!

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Lonie

My boyfriend wants a prenup, and since we were both married previously, and he has considerably more assets than I do, I will sign it and I’m not insulted. He also has considerably more debt than I do, and I need to be protected from that debt. However, when I mentioned to my boyfriend that, of course, I would be having my own attorney review the document and give me advice, he was surprised. He was also surprised that I wanted the document in place BEFORE we announce our engagement. He has 5 adult children and I have 6 adult children. He got “taken to the cleaners,” as he puts it, by his first wife (actually that’s not true; she was a stay-at-home mom their entire 25 year marriage and got 50% of their assets), so he wants to protect himself. That’s fine with me. Perhaps one views these things more practically when they are older and have adult children?

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John Winters

The funny thing is, if you don’t set your own prenuptual agreement, the state has one for you. So you can either write your own, or you can go with the state’s at the time you get your license. Don’t believe me? OK, here’s Georgia’s prenuptual in a nutshell.
1. All assets and debts incurred during the marriage will be split 50/50.
2. Any cash and liquid (stocks) assets, including pre-marital assets, which improve in value during the marriage will have the increase in value split 50/50. So a life insurance policy’s increase in value will be split.
3. Property assets, such as land which were owned before marriage will stay with the original owner, even though marital assets were used to pay for taxes/insurance (but not improvements). How is this different from life insurance? Not sure.
4. Kids – Ready for this? — Primary custodian is assigned to the spouse who has the lowest income! Really? Even if the secondary custodian is the mother and she has the kids 90% of the time, she will pay! Highest income always pays child support.

Look, here’s my suggestion: get a snapshot of your finances at the time you get married. Never re-title any assets. Anything put in a joint account or jointly titled will be split. Do a simple prenup that says anything titled in one person’s name stays that way (asset, debt, whatever), joint titles are split, and during the marriage, you two can decide what becomes joint or how to transfer assets and debt from one to the other knowing that if your worlds came apart, you know who gets what. Decide in advance who can handle being a single parent and send the kids that way. If you can let go of that one, you’ll be happier in the long run . . . you get to be the weekend hero! And remember, child support is half the total cost of actually having custody of the kids. Write the check with a smiley face and go have a mai-tai. Kids will just stab the primary in the back anyway.

And for God’s sake, if you can’t love each other enough to get naked while arguing, don’t tie the knot.

Reply
Lori

This whole concept of prenup has had my life in uproar for atleast a year and half now.

I am a Christian woman my husband is also. We have been married almost 2 yrs. he is very wealthy. I have had many assets and great income but walked away from a lot of security in my 16 year marriage to my last husb just to get away safely. It was not worth the damage being caused to me and my 3 children any more.

My current husb asked me to marry him and shortly after that said would I have a prob with a small prenup because he has a business and family property and investments and 3 children of his own. I am very reasonable. It did sting at first. But after I thought about it a bit I agreed. Within a week or two I was at an atty office of my own. Who kept trying to tell me not to do it. I ignored him. When he kept reading me the proposal I tuned out. I signed and told him to keep my copy. I would t need it. We were married within 1 week.

About 6 months later, I asked my husb for copy of prenup. I have cried nearly every day rehashing what it really says.

It is very explicit about “separating ” our financial future. The house we live in is his, the cars, his, the boat , his, property, his, any investments are his, checking accts (I don’t even know how many there are ) they are his too ).

I did find out that when I married him my adult children lost scholarship money from the colleges they attend. It’s not their fault. But I will be paying for it-not my husband. I also found out recently that because I married him my income at my job instantly reduced about 20% because I am now in a 47% tax bracket.

My husband is a dr. I work two jobs. He has 3 kids. 2 live with us now full time. I feel like I am very reasonable. I cook I clean I mow the grass. I work 2 jobs. I am a very dedicated employee and a good mother to my 3 kids and to his also.

I have loved this man unconditionally. However, I am beginning to feel like a fool here. I have no retirement. I feel no security. He has made it very clear thru his prenup that we will live a seperate financial future. And yet from time to time he will tell me he is going to take care of me and show me a good life. I don’t know what a good life is anymore. I’m writing to a forum of people I have no idea who they are because I am too ashamed to talk to my family or friends about signing a prenup like this. I feel misguided by him.

I do not feel like I am an equal spouse to him. I have tried to tell him I thought marriage vows were for the living, estate planning and wills were for death. And a prenup is only for a divorce.

He could go run around on me have an affair and I would have absolutely no recourse according to our prenup. I on the other hand would be living with a lying cheater or be homeless.

I cannot figure out a way to get past this. We are planning to go to a counselor soon and I am terrified because I am just getting angrier and angrier and I cannot find a way to deal with all my emotions……

Reply
    Heather

    Sounds like your prenup is unconscionable. A judge would throw it out if you got divorced. He can’t put you on the streets and there has to be some level of support. I would talk to an attorney and see if you can get it thrown out now.

    Reply
    Anne Cummings

    Has anyone experienced psychological, emotional and financial harm by signing a prenuptial agreement such as: fixation on the agreement, feelings of frustation, resentment, depression, fear about the future, low self-esteem. Please tell me your story

    Reply
      Lori

      Refer to my story please Anne. I could elaborate and go on and on. But insecurity is a direct effect of my self esteem. I am very curious to see how or if many women especially have dealt with this much. One of my biggest problems is this is not something I would ever discuss openly with my friends or associates. It is very private. People throw judgement instantly when you discuss finances let alone prenups. I have no one close enough to me I can talk to. Even my closest friends are very judgemental of my husband So I have really had a very hard time carrying this around with me. And in my situation so many people ask me why are you still working. I mean your husband is a dr. Why are you doing this?

      I do enjoy work. I did come into my marriage with debt from a previous marriage that I want to resolve. And I am doing that. But the average person is so mean and rude when it comes to these very personal matters. And I know I should let it all just slide off my back. I am highly emotional when it comes to this and have a very hard time dealing with these sensitive issues. Any comments or sdvice is always helpful. Thank you

      Reply
        Anne Cummings

        P.A.S.S. is not a recognized disorder. This information is strictly for educational purposes and not intended to be psychological advice. I have developed a description for spouses experiencing stress over a prenuptial agreement. If a you recognize PASS in yourself, I would welcome any comments. Anne

        P.A.S.S.™
        Prenuptial Agreement Stress Syndrome
        By: Anne Cummings

        With the use and misuse of prenuptial agreements, marriages have become more like business deals and less like the intimate relationship between two people. These negotiated contracts often create devastating emotional and financial problems for the spouse of lesser means should the marriage fail. But what happens to that spouse during the marriage can also have devastating and long-term emotional effects. Building a loving relationship can be almost impossible if one partner has power over the other, and when the benefits of marriage are taken away for one partner, the individuals and marriage suffers. A prenuptial agreement can create a caustic environment and cause persistent negative thoughts

        Prenuptial Agreement Stress Syndrome which can also be referred to as Prenuptial Agreement Sadness Syndrome can develops soon after the marriage or after years into a marriage which diminishes the significance of one spouse over the other. It can cause severe anxiety over a period of time especially if the marriage accumulates any length.

        1) Disturbance of daily activities
        *Inability to perform functions such as grocery shopping, cooking cleaning the house especially if the house is not your home.
        *Feelings of frustration and anger over your living situation may prevent you from functioning in the marital environment.
        *Loss of appetite and desire to function as a loving spouse
        *May cause disorganized and agitated behavior as the affected spouse fixates on the minimizing of the marriage.
        *May cause physical reactions on a daily basis, such as irritability, panic attacks, nausea, difficulty concentrating, crying, inability to sleep and self-loathing.
        *You may begin to fixate daily on your wellbeing should something happen to your spouse.
        *You ability to work may be affected due to your fears and frustration.
        2) Avoidance and Distancing
        *Avoidance of family, especially spouse’s family in social settings
        *Detachment from spouse
        *Detachment from your own family and friends due to embarrassment and feelings of daily humiliation
        *Find it easier to conceal the unbalanced marriage by not attending social events because being around other couples is too depressing and overwhelming.
        *Avoid discussing feelings and thoughts about the future of the marriage with your spouse due to the fear of ending the marriage.
        3) Loss of hope
        *The marital situation can produce a sense or worthlessness
        *The relationship may develop aspects of emotional abuse if the prenuptial agreement is used as a weapon to keep a spouse in line
        *Realizing that your future may be constrained in such a way that causes daily fear and frustration
        *The marriage may begin to feel like a burden and a waste of life
        *You feel a sense of a narrowing of your future, and don’t believe that you will live a fulfilling or happy life.
        *You begin to feel unimportant and useless.
        *You may feel betrayed by your spouse
        *You feel diminished due to your lack of marital participation in financial decisions.
        4) Depression
        *Depression can develop and rigger fear responses due to overwhelming fear of the future if the marriage fails.
        *Despair over the inability to develop a secure and happy marriage
        *Emotional numbing as it relates to your spouse, your spouses family, and friends.

        P.A.S.S. can affect a person’s life and their ability to find stability whether the marriage continues or ends. This stress can affect all aspects of a person’s life including mental, emotional and physical well-being. The prolonged experiencing of such a marriage changes their views about themselves and the environment around them negatively.

        The symptoms of P.A.S.S. may not be noticeable for many years. Some people may not associate their symptoms to their premarital agreement lifestyle until the affected spouse realizes it has altered them in ways they cannot easily repair.

        =============================================
        P.A.S.S. is not a recognized disorder. This information is strictly for educational purposes and not intended to be psychological advice. Always consult a professional source when faced with psychological issues.

        Reply
          Besy

          Unfortunately I know what you are talking about guys. I can recognise the symptoms of PASS in me. My partner asked me to sigh a prenup few years ago which left me devastated. The country where I come from prenup contract is something new and not many people sigh it. I am a lawyer myself and I know exactly why two people sigh a contract, when just a shake-hand is not enough. Well… my partner tried to convince me that he trusted me and blah blah blah, the prenup was just in case something happens and we are not longer together and I may want his house, cars and so on. I said to him if did not know what type of person he wanted to spend the rest of his life then it was better to separated.
          I spent many nights and days crying, trying to understand how someone loves you and he thinks he trusted you…
          And in the end of the day when you get divorced you will get as much as you contributed in the marriage (according to the law)… Isn’t it fair?
          It was shame to see how his family, who supported him, is so religious and go to the church every Sunday and read the Bible more than anything else (where is not written: “Before you get married arrange your financial issues in case of devoice”).
          I hope you will feel better soon Lori!

          Reply
          Depressed in Denver

          I just stumbled onto this website and read the post about PASS…it explains exactly what I have been feeling.

          I signed a prenup which was presented less than week before our wedding in 1992. My husband’s first wife was a spendthrift and had a gambling addiction, but luckily managed to hold down a job with the US Postal Service (imagine that). He has one child, now grown with children of his own, but is now estranged from his son.

          The symptoms described above came around and hit me full force during the estate planning my husband decided he needed to do to presumably “protect” me from his alcoholic and mentally unstable son. Supposedly the trust was being set up to give his grandchildren the money in a substantial retirement fund to them upon his death (but of which he has full control until his death), and that everything else would be left to me. He says he is “trusting” me to be the Trustee of the grandchildren’s trust until the oldest grandchild is of age to do so.

          My concern is this – the money in that retirement fund represents roughly 1/3 of his whole estate, with another 1/3 being tied up in real estate, and the remaining 1/3 in cash and other investments. If he lives to a ripe old age, no problem — however, my concern is that if something happens to him in the near future, I am royally screwed. Although he asked me to review the estate planning documents, the first sentence describing his family read like this “Settlor and Settlor’s spouse entered into a Premarital Contract prior to their marriage in 1992 and such contract remains in full force and effect.”

          I guess I naively had hoped that my husband would see fit to sunset the prenup after being together for 25 years and married for 22. I stupidly did not seek legal counsel before signing my rights away in the prenup, but now I have to find the gumption to tell him I am not signing anything to do with the estate planning and trust without getting advice from my OWN SEPARATE LEGAL COUNSEL because of the prenup. It will start a huge fight and not one from which I am sure we can ever recover.

          It is all compounded by the fact that I have been a trailing spouse to his career, and because of such have worked off and on throughout our marriage with little to no retirement or money of my own.

          At this point in my life (Age 54), I could try to rejoin the workforce (I do have a college education and once had a promising career), but at this rate would NEVER be able to catch up financially should something happen.

          I still love him, but the prenup has always been a cancer or a virus in our marriage, and given the right breeding ground, could easily spread to a terminal situation. I feel trapped and definitely don’t feel comfortable telling my husband about my fears. In examining my real feelings, if I had it to do all over again, I seriously do not think I would have married him. It’s all water under the bridge now, but I can’t help thinking about what life would have been like married to someone who actually trusted me from the get go…

          Reply
    Samantha

    First off I am so sorry to hear what you are going through … Anytime a lawyer tells you not to sign something especially a prenup ALWAYS listen… Most lawyers are for a prenup no matter what … if they old you not to it was because they read it and deemed it very unfair… If you all separate the judge will more than likely through it out … I always tell people who are so into a “Prenup” that you must understand legally how they work … I find it hard to believe that your husband is as wealthy as he claims and you have to work 2 jobs… you should not be working … and you sure as hell should not be mowing he lawn (sorry I am old school) … If a person has a considerable amount of wealth over their spouse you must leave them something in the event of a divorce… you can not write them out all together … Now if you were wealthy and he was wealthy than you both could say “You take yours and I will take mine” … However in this case that is not so … Also a prenup must be signed at least 30 days before the nuptials .. that way both parties have time to negotiate and think about what they are signing … 1 week is not enough time … You have 2 major legal reason to collect …
    I am not a fan of divorce but I feel you are in a bad marriage and might need to consider one … When a man loves a woman it is very obvious … If he loved you and is so wealthy he would have no issue paying for you babies to go to college … he knew you had three kids when he married you …. Trust me I have seen men bend over backwards for women they love.. I have seen men leave their own children and raise another woman’s…
    Listen you deserve a man who loves you the way Christ loves the church … he is suppose to be your covering and protector and DAMMIT he is suppose to provide (sorry Lord I know its Holy Week) ..
    You deserve the best … you know you are a good woman.. I always say pray about it … talk to the Lord … either ask him to Change your hubby’s heart or help you get out….

    You have no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed.. please talk to your loved ones .. they would want to know …
    Do not ever feel ashamed for doing what you felt was right
    There are stranger out that love you and want the best .. I want the best for every woman …
    May the Lord continue to bless you Richly (Pun Intended )

    Reply
    Olee

    Hey joe, have you ever questioned why your family wants you to get a pre nup soooo badly? Not that it should matter to them, but it would be interesting to know.

    Reply
    Olee

    I think a pre nuptial agreement is a great idea.

    First off, let me say this, I feel sorry for all the people on here who were cheated from a pre nup or signed an unfair pre nup. Please read a pre nup and make sure it is fair before you sign it. I really don’t see the issue if a pre nup is fair.

    For instance, you keep what you had before we got married I keep what I had. Any debt that you accumulated before our marriage is yours my debt is mine. Spousal support will only be awarded if you are physically or mentally disabled, or until you regain sufficient employment not to exceed 1 year ( personally I would not marry someone who was not self sufficient no matter how much money I’m making). Your retirement money is yours my retirement is mine. If one party does not have a retirement plan then we will split 50/50 the portion that was made during the marriage. As for as kids go I would award the parent who is best suited to take care of the children and provide them with the best emotional, physical, and financial support with primary custody. The other parent would be ordered to pay child support and set up a visitation schedule.

    Does this sound fair to anybody? Would you sign a pre nup like this? If you said no then you just turned down a marriage proposal in the state of texas. What I mean is in the state of texas that’s what essentially happens when you get a divorce, so subconsciously you are signing a pre nup when you get your marriage certificate. I guess it takes all the fun out if you make that apparent before you get married. But I like to know what I’m getting myself into.

    Let’s be realistic. No one wants the marriage to fail, but some of them do. A whopping 50% or more the last time I checked. It would be nice that if your marriage did happen to fail that nice loving person who you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with would still be the same loving fair Christian they were when you married them. That rarely happens! So protect yourselves just in case.

    I bet majority of you have car insurance. Does that mean your expecting to get into a wreck? Does that mean you are planning for a wreck to happen? I have it just in case something unforseeable happens I can be prepared.

    Reply
      bob sellers

      I just wish to God that you could be my attorney .

      Reply
Brie

From my experience, to anyone who is proposed to a prenuptial before marriage is not to marry. There are people out there who go into marriage wanting to share and have trust. It is worth the wait, and as painful as it is to let go, my advice is to do it because the hurt you feel now will always be there if you chose to sign on the dotted line.

Reply
Joe

Proposed to my girlfriend last april and soon to be wedding on april 27 2013. My family has been pressuring me to get my soon to be wife to sign a prenup for a while now and its really taking a toll on her. I’ve tried talking and reasoning with them. It’s really something else. We’ve discussed this topic well before our engagement and decided it wasn’t for us. I do own a house and have a decent savings but I couldn’t ask her to sign a paper saying the house is only mine but your just living here. Just getting so overwhelming.

Reply
    Dustin

    Joe,

    Thanks for sharing where you are right now in this struggle between your desires and what your family is pressuring you to do. It sounds like you and your soon-to-be wife agree that a prenup is not what you want.

    I know it’s easier to say than do, but it sounds like you have to be firm with your family and tell them you appreciate their input, but the decision is made and this issue is over. I’d let them know that their insistence is hurting their relationship with their new daughter-in-law, and that she is now your #1 priority – so they simply must respect your decision and keep their nose out of your business.

    Be strong for your wife and keep in mind that come April, the two of you are a new family that must stick together. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

    Dustin

    Reply
      Joe

      Thanks, we are excited. Just a shame my family isn’t too happy. Good to see we aren’t the only one’s that think a prenup isn’t something we desire.

      Reply
      Mo

      Dustin, You said it exactly right.

      Joe, You are a rock star!

      I so wish my husband had stood up to his family like you are being willing to stand up to yours. Your wife should be first in your life. We’ve been married over 5 years, and I am literally losing sleep over our prenup tonight. It affects me more now than I ever thought it would have back when I signed it. I hate it. And I hate that I was blackmailed into signing it. I love my inlaws, but it really bothers me that they forced their way into structuring my marriage. It has not been good for our relationship. And the prenup makes me feel like we’re not 100% married.

      Joe, I’m proud of you for standing up for your wife!!! Your marriage will be so much healthier for it! 🙂

      Reply
Lori

I have ran into another situation that is inline with keeping things seperate. Have been doing well for a while with whole prenup issue. Saw a counselor and it did help some. I do believe my husb does love me. But I question some of the life decisions he is making. For our marriage. I asked him yesterday (something he was doing prompted this -working on personal collection inventory list) what would I do if something happened to him? If he suddenly had an accident or illness etc… I have no idea how to get in safes where life ins policies are. I am not on banking accounts. I am not on house deed. I am not even on any car titles. So basically as far as I know I would instantly be homeless and without a car. My first concern was to take care of hos chilsren how did I get them what was supposed to be theirs. I know he has set up an estate with an estate planner etc. but I don’t even know who that is. … His answer for me was to contact his friend. I am DEVASTATED . This is my husband. My soulmate. I have devoted my days to him. I give him everything I have and his important life instructions are given to his friend and not me? I don’t understand. How does a wife spouse girlfriend whatever you are, get past this? He said after my mouth hit the floor he would tell me but I am still in shock. Absolute shock.

Reply
    peaofsweetness

    I can relate to so many comments here and I was fascinated by the ‘syndrome’.

    If anything happens to my husband, I have to contact his secretary. My life will be controlled by the trust and the trustees are his secretary and his friend.

    We went through the most awful time when he wanted the prenup signed, to the point where I almost decided not to get married. Even my solicitor was shocked at the way my fiance was treating me.

    I decided to overlook the damage it was doing as I loved him and wanted to respect his decision. However, knowing that, in reality, your fiance didn’t really trust you, hurt.

    Two days after we got married, in August 2012, (so not long ago) I had the most tremendous pain in my back. Very long story, but after numerous scans it was found to be a tumour in my leg which was diagnosed as secondary cancer. You can imagine the shock!

    After I had the tumour removed (three weeks ago), my husband dropped me off at the house and went up to London where he went wine tasting with friends, lunches out etc. I was on crutches and was in considerable pain – sleeping on the sofa etc etc.

    This morning, as I came down the stairs he was in the hall with my phone and paperwork and I asked him politely why he was going through my stuff. He became very defensive, shouted and carried on and then told me he wasn’t happy with the relationship; it wasn’t working etc etc. He went back up to London (whilst I went to hospital outpatient appointment).

    We have since spoken, where he criticised me for not going shopping, doing something special for Valentines Day (he had told me he wasn’t coming back from London until the following day), etc etc. I couldn’t believe that he hadn’t taken into account that I had been ill etc.

    I know this might not seem it has anything to do with the prenup, but to me his lack of trust, understanding about sharing and caring, having a proper relationship is part of his lack of commitment.

    He said he wanted a normal relationship ……… I couldn’t help but point out that ‘normal’ couples don’t have prenups, they say we instead of I, their new house is called ours rather than mine; that kind of thing ……

    I text him to say how sad I was that he was unhappy with me etc – real heartfelt stuff. His reply was: He couldn’t think straight and he would speak to me when he was feeling better or tomorrow!

    From the minute we signed the prenup, I knew I wasn’t valued , respected, even vaguely equal in the relationship.

    That’s my experience ……….. so far …………..

    Everybody should do what they believe is right for them ….

    Sorry for rambling, but I’m so desperately upset and feel so alone.

    Reply
      Bonnie

      Peaofsweetness, does that prenup have a fidelity clause? Because your husband cheated/is cheating on you in London. Think about it: he goes alone, boozes it up, doesn’t take your calls because he’s “not feeling well,” comes home and picks fights with you over completely irrational BS, goes through your personal effects…and his SECRETARY is named to handle his estate in the case of his passing?! Get OUT of that marriage before you have nothing left!!

      Reply
        Lori

        It is awful to feel powerless. And why strong women let ourselves go to that lonely place is baffling.

        I recently referred to webster’s for the basics. For peace of mind. For my own sanity and reasoning. To assure myself once again. We are not crazy.

        MARRIAGE- the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

        Why is that contract between god and husband and wife not valid? I am just dumbfounded. We have had many discussions my husb and I how we put each other first always and I feel like a damn lunatic here with the thought of being in crisis and having to follow directions from my husbands friend, atty , acct, etc etc. I am his wife. I feel like it means absolutely nothing to him.

        Reply
          peaofsweetness

          No our prenup doesn’t have a fidelity clause – they’re not acceptable in the UK.

          I don’t think he’s having an affair. He has a home in London.

          I know he’s selfish and wants his own way and if I don’t ‘toe the line’ he ‘punishes’ me.

          I have sent him numerous heartfelt messages and texts today which he has chosen to disregard, other than at last say ” Come up to London, let’s be happy”. I can’t believe he couldn’t even respond to my clear vulnerability, fear, upset etc.

          I don’t know how to deal with this ………….

          Reply
      ButterflyWings

      Wow peasofsweetness. What he is doing to you is outright abuse. Even if he’s not cheating… he left you after surgery to remove cancer and then verbally abuses you because you haven’t done the housework and waited on him hand and foot in the days just after surgery….

      That’s exactly what my ex did – bullied me into doing the housework for him while I was recovering from major surgery – led to a permanent serious back injury to me while trying. And two days after the surgery he raped me because I said no because I was in too much pain for sex.

      We didn’t have a prenup – it was me who brought all the money and assets into the marriage, and it was he who spent them all on drugs and left me with nothing, and he walked away with the only asset we had (superannuation) and I got left with $100K of debt and no ability to work due to the injuries I had from him – both the back injury and the injuries from beatings over the years after that.

      So seriously you can’t put a fidelity clause in a prenup in Britain? that’s screwed up. Infidelity and abuse (including abandonment and neglect like what your husband is putting you through) should be the only reasons for a prenup (and divorce). What sort of stupid country ignores infidelity???

      Reply
duke

Love how the women here have disorders and the such to validate the monies they think they are owed from their successful husbands actually making a living especially if they have children. All men out there.. get a pre-nup and if they won’t sign it then don’t marry them, bottom line. They will all take you to court at a drop of a hat and you, most of the time end up holding the bag. Why do you think the divorce rate nationowide is 50%. Christian or not… do you think Jesus would ask for 50% of all your wealth if you decided not to believe in him anymore? Don’t believe the hype and go consult an attorney before you get married. It may the be the best $500.00 you ever spent!!!

Reply
    Julie

    Duke, Jesus asks for your 100% whether you believe in him or not. It’s no comparison. If people truly gave 100% to their marriage, the divorce rate would be nil.

    Reply
    Joe

    Duke, best comment so far. I’ve always said it, there is no worst enemy that a woman during a divorce. Women divorcing are your worst enemy, EVIL. They would leave you homeless and asking for water by sign language if you let them in divorce if no pren-up. They will take your heart out with bare hands and smash it on the ground like a ripe tomato if you let them. I don’t agree with the unfair Pren-up Lori got and feel horrible for her even though is her fault for not requiring acceptable terms (the unfaithful part, place to live, some money) but yes, a Pren-up is very much recommended. Listen to your head and not your heart on this one. Get one or you will be sorry.

    Reply

Unfortunately, there are opportunistic people in this world looking for a way to take advantage. One has to remove the dollar signs from the benefits of marriage, there it will only then remain pure. I believe if the woman or man only want to marry for financial reasons, one will ultimately be screwed. If one really loves the other get married. If one really loves money get a job.

Reply
    Anne Cummings

    Jose, when there is no WE in marriage, there is no marriage. Good luck on whoever YOU decide to take advantage of.

    Reply
joe

It’s been fun seeing everyone’s opinion on this subject. It’s tough for me to even go through with demanding my soon to be wife to sign a document like this before we even get married. I understand why my family feels like its necessary to do so. I have talked to a family lawyer about creating prenup. It felt so wrong I couldn’t go thru with it. Didn’t feel right for me. It was almost if she was pinning me against my girl friend. Wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least.

Reply
    Lance

    I am about to be married myself Joe. I haven’t proposed yet and our marriage date hasn’t been set yet but my financial guy and my lawyer are all over me to get a prenup because my assets are far greater than my gf’s. I’ve never had to deal with the issue before because in my 1st marriage(I am a widower.. My 1stmarriage was wonderful) we never signed one and we worked like heck on our marriage and loved each other dearly. Now Miss Right is in my life and I love her dearly yet because of my financial guy and lawyers advice I bought it up and my gf’s reaction was not good though she said she’d sign anything I wanted her to. I got an awful felling in my gut about about this whole prenup thing is a mistake and I hated making my gf feel like she was a golddigger before we are even engaged yet. I am composing an email to my financial guy telling him this prenup thing is not for me or my new wife to-be. Marriage is a leap of faith and love, a whole commitment of self and everything you have or it is nothing.

    Reply
Ian

So I’ve put a lot of thought into this pre-nuptual thing. Really, it’s a good idea. I’m sorry, but if you and your soon to be wife can sit down and discuss what would happen should you both grow in different directions, then you will probably accept the possibility that you could grow in different directions and might make an extra effort to grow in similar directions.

Ok, enough of my soap box. If you don’t do your own pre-nup, the state has one for you. The state describes how you will divorce. Fine. If you understand the terms of that pre-nup, then you can position yourself to handle it. Most states are very similar. Basically, any money you make after the day you are married is a marital asset and will be divided 50/50. Any money you have before you get married in an account NEVER titled in your spouse’s name and NEVER used for a martial function, like paying for a house and such, is untouchable. So on the day you get married, print out your account statements, don’t touch that money anymore, and keep copies forever. Meanwhile, if a divorce is coming, spend all the marital assets like your dying. It’s a 50% off sale! Kids? She gets them, he can see them every other weekend, and you can down load the child support worksheet anytime you like. Figure on $500/month per kid per $50k you earn. Here’s the dirty little secret on child support. Its a 50% off sale on child care. It costs 50% less to pay the child support than to take care of the kids yourself. I promise. And you don’t have to put up with those kids except as a weekend hero. Loser gets the kids.

Finally, we have the house. So let’s say you’re a guy, and you think a divorce is coming. She’s going to screw you with a domestic violence order. So get out of the house!!! Go get an apartment, spend marital assets and furnish it, and GET OUT!!! Meanwhile, make absolutely sure one of 2 things is true. 1. Your name alone is on the mortgage and title of the house, kick her and the kids out, and sell the house before the divorce is filed. 2. Both your names are on the mortgage and title, so when you stop paying the mortgage (and you should stop), you both have your credit trashed. The usual advise applies, cut all your credit cards and pay them off. Leave your spouse with hers or his. They’re not your problem once the divorce starts, so long as the accounts are zero at the time the spouse is served. Debts are split 50/50 as well, so keep that in mind as a strategy. If your spouse wants you to pay his/her pre-marital debts off with your pre-marital assets, run.

Now this sounds harsh, so here’s from the woman’s perspective, if she were honorable, and she’s not. A divorce is coming. Get out of the house WITH the kids, live within your means, and sell the house. Split the assets quickly 50/50, offer fair visitation, and settle the divorce in 31 days with the most amount of money in both your pockets, ready to start a new life. Here is what women do. They believe their entitled, even when they cheat, so they’ll squat in the house, raise hell with their attorney (costing $100,000) in attorney fees (divorce attorney’s hate women because they want blood instead of just getting out), and they cry victim when they leave themselves destitute. Because women, unless you are going to realize that divorce is ultimately about money, and the best way to get the most is to fight the least

So women, since you know you’ll screw yourself over in your emotional state to take down the guy you once loved, get a friggin pre-nup, if for no other reason than to protect yourself from yourself.

A couple of other tricks. Married more than 10 years? Alimony’s a bitch. Get divorced after 5-10 years. You can always re-marry the same person later. The ironic thing about this, it’ll have the same impact as asking for a pre-nup. Because you’re restating the state’s pre-nup. And for God’s sake, if your relationship is not serving you, file for divorce and get out. Don’t stick with it for some reason that doesn’t matter. You only have on life. Enjoy it!

Reply
    Jay

    Wow Ian, bitter much?

    I hate to break it to you, the world doesn’t all run like that. My exhusband took all the assets I had from before we were married – I had assets, he had nothing but massive debts. He managed to get all those debts into my name – some honestly, some behind my back deceitfully (actually criminally some of it).

    When we split, he walked away with the few assets we had left, and I was left with all the debt.

    No alimony despite the fact I was left a total cripple from the injuries he gave me and despite the fact he has a good job because we don’t do alimony here in Australia, and spousal support is extremely rare and requires extremely exceptional circumstances.

    As for child support being $500 a month on a $50K income? I WISH. I get $50 a month – FIFTY not five hundred – and his income is $50K and the way our government works the welfare system, I lose 50c of my government support for every $1 he pays in child support, so we effectively only get $25 a month. And this is for an autistic child who needs lots of therapy – none of which he pays for at all. not a cent. The $25 a month doesn’t even cover 10% of the cost of feeding, doesn’t cover 1% of her medical bills, etc.

    And I was the one repeatedly bashed and cheated on – yet I was the one left with raising our child and in debt up to my eyeballs for debts I never received a cent in benefit from (things like him writing off a car he used violence to threaten me into cosigning his loan which he then went bankrupt, leaving me with the debt etc).

    So while you’re slagging women off, it’s men who abuse the system here – take all of a woman’s assets, leave her with all the debts, leave her with the kids, pays a few lousy dollars child support (if you earn under $30K you only have to pay a lousy $20 a month child support), pay no alimony and screw her in every other way, while your kids live in poverty and you can live the high life – and even if you earn over $300K a year, you still don’t have to pay anywhere near $500 a month.

    I have been divorced 6 years and I’m still paying off the debts my ex ran up in my name while living on a disability pension and getting a few lousy dollars child support – while he blows half his pay on prostitutes, drugs and buying presents for his mistresses.

    Not all women are what you described – I just wanted to get out without his debts and I couldn’t even do that.

    Reply
    Lori

    You sound like a bitter man with a hatred for women. You obviously don’t understand a Christian marriage.

    People with real circumstances come here desperate for resolution and comfort. Not a rant from a shallow minded person like yourself.

    I could not imagine a conversation with you. I’m sure it’s very easy for you to yell and scream at people here than really try to effectively communicate.

    Good luck

    Reply
Ian

Wish I could have much sympathy for you. Why would you tie the knot with some guy who’s got massive debt without a pre-nup? You made the case for a pre-nup. Sound like you enjoy being a victim. I’d be very interested in what your 30 and 60 day status hearings sounded like. What your conversations with your attorney sounded like. You did this to yourself.

Reply
    Lori

    Read the column. I am not the correct one u r referring to.

    Good luck. I hope you find a woman that will put up with your anger and hatred.

    Reply
    Jay

    Ian … the only reason anyone should be tying the knot. Because they love someone and are committed to spending their life with them for better or worse. Not everyone is obsessed with money like you are.

    I have no idea what a 30/60 day status hearing is because I’m from Australia. Our legal system works very different from where you are from.

    And if you knew anything about aussie law, they’ve discovered a loophole in the law that basically invalidates most prenups anyway – nearly all prenups before a few years ago aren’t even legally binding due to a flaw in the law. So even a prenup wouldn’t have helped.

    Australia isn’t the litigious country that america is, and here we marry for love not money generally.

    Finally, a prenup STILL would not have helped, even if I had my premarriage assets, and my ex had ended up with his debts, the reality is, the violence he committed against me meant that I was unable to continue my career path to being a doctor and now cannot work at all. Our system basically does not recognise alimony, and while I had a case for spousal maintenance due to my injuries (something very rare in Australian law to have a case for), the reality is, I’d still not have got a cent out of pursuing spousal maintenance.

    As mentioned, I cannot work. Spousal maintenance (in the rare cases it is granted) is simply deducted from disability pensions. As I had to abandon my career during my studies to be a doctor, I was only eligible to receive spousal maintenance for the income I was receiving at the time of my injuries. Not my previous higher income nor my future income that I would have had as a doctor. So my spousal maintenance wouldn’t have been much, and would have only replaced my disability pension which means I’d be no better off – the only difference being I get my current income half from my ex and half from the government instead of all from the government.

    And ultimately, I wouldn’t have got a cent – you can’t get blood from a stone. We are not the US, it is not a crime to not pay child support or spousal maintenance. If a man quits his job, the government can only force him to pay $6 a week total in child support and spousal maintenance per expartner. And even then, there are ways to get out of paying that, which is what my exhusband did for many years. Even now, he only pays around $20 a week child support for our autistic daughter who requires a lot of therapy. And again, it decreases my daughter’s meagre $80 a week payment from the government by $10 so we’re only $10 a week better off with him paying child support than not paying.

    Prenups can’t protect you from being screwed by a bad former partner, even legally binding ones, in Australia. Unless your exhusband is extremely rich, neither a prenup nor spousal maintenance is worth anything.

    Reply
Anne Cummings

Prenuptial agreements: a legal way to bully someone

Reply
    Olee

    Hey Lori, I’m sorry you signed an unfair pre nup, but I can’t help but to ask is your current relationship rocky. If it is I hope you can work it out. I’m speculating here, but nowhere in your post have you said your hubby has done anything wrong except have you sign a pre nup. So I’m assuming you might be creating an issue because you really didn’t want to sign the pre nup. I’m sorry if I’m wrong, but why dwell on that if the relationship is going well? Is it because you feel like he doesn’t trust you now?

    Reply
    Olee

    Failed marriage without a pre nup are just as guilty of bullying people as an unfair pre nuptial agreement.

    Reply
joe

just figure to give an update. Helps me venting like this. My family basically cut ties with me and want no contact with my soon to be wife. We’ve postponed our wedding that was supposed to be this saturday. The people were really nice about giving our money back from the venue. We’ve decided just to have a destination wedding and just forget everyone. Both families are feuding and can’t reason with any of them. The only way my folks could accept our marriage would be with a prenup. All this for a damn prenup. really unbelievable.

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    Lori

    OMG. u r doing the right thing. Be patient. It would put such a strain on your marriage if you are truly struggling with having a prenup. I would have never done it. NEVER. It makes me question myself on a regular basis.

    Reply
      joe

      Yeah it really would put a huge strain on our marriage. I couldn’t follow thru and get married with all this going on. Both of our families are in complete turmoil over the situation. I’ve decided against a prenup but my folks don’t understand my reasoning. I see they’re concern and are trying to take care of me. But I really need to do what I believe is best for my soon to be wife and I.

      Reply
    Joe2

    Joe unfortunately you are going to shed one day tears of blood. You are very naive and I see that you need to hit the wall hard to get something adjusted in your head. The world doesn’t work the way you view it. You’ll end up divorce one day and I can bet my right hand off on that.

    Reply
Hurt and confused

Id like to know what people opinions are about being asked to sign a prenup and im not even engaged my partner yet. My partner wants nothing to do with it and it his parents that are pushing us into it. Basically blackmailing him into signing and doing it because they loaned him money. I could understand if we were getting married but he hasn’t even proposed and im being forced into signing something that I believe is out right wrong

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Anne cominsky

I have just created a website theprenuptialwife.com to deal with the marital relationship when the couples are living with a prenuptial agreement. Some of the emotional problems that may arise because one or both spouses do not feel that they are connected in all aspects of the marriage. Please visit the website and be the first to comments and just browse, because out of the pain of living with a prenuptial agreement, there are sweet and funny greeting cards. Hope everyone reads and gets something out of the website. Anne

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Ann

Hi my name is Ann, and I want to tell my story.

This is about one of your people on this site that posted a story. He shared it with me at the time of our relationship to show me how he felt. This happened 2-3 years ago, but I still wonder what if.

At the time of our relationship, me and this person were together we discussed a pre-nup and decided it wasn’t for us. He fought constantly with his family over it during the course of our engagement. To keep the peace, we decided to go ahead with this pre-nup. It was not fair towards me in all aspects and was not given to me in a timely fashion, which cause the marriage to be “postponed.” This pre-nup ruined a good man and our relationship. The during and after our break-up wasn’t pretty to say the least.

A lot has happened since, the biggest thing is that I lost my grandmother and he hasn’t acknowledged my loss. At the time we were breaking up he said he cared about her (my grandmother) and me still, so not a appearance at her viewing or a letter of condolence is just so wrong. This man that I was supposed to marry and be with for the rest of my life; we had been together for three years, apparently it and I meant nothing to him.

Why am I saying anything now, my feelings toward this man obviously are not resolved. It affects me everyday. I have dated a few people in this time, but cannot fully commit to anything serious, I want to, but my trust in men has been defined by this life experience.

I understand there are reasons why people should have a pre-nup, but in my heart of hearts I still believe to have a true, open, and honest marriage they are not needed.

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Anne Cominsky

Please look at my new website and comment on prenuptial agreements. Also have started a line of greeting cards – Rocky Road Cards, some are about marriage, divorce and prenuptial agreements. Anne

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Anne Cominsky

THE PRENUP DIARIES
theprenuptialagreement.com

Entry #4
January 2 – Year One

“The great threat to freedom is the concentration of power.” Milton Friedman 1962

It’s Friday, the day after New Year’s, and I wish everyone a safe and happy year and that all resolutions spoken out loud are realized and not given wings as they can fly away before being put into play. Well, not only am I going to share my resolution, I also put it into practice today just to work out the bugs. I hate to use the word bugs, because today I’m talking about feeding my husband. My resolution is just something to help me live in a “as if no marriage exists-marriage. So today I am going to discuss the Proper Feeding of a Husband who insists on a prenuptial agreement. Now, I’m just making up some the rules as I go along, but I do know that simplify, simplify and more simply, is the way to go, after all, time is money and money is time, and I’m not going to spend time cooking in this nonexistent marriage. As a side-note, I looked up the meaning of nonexistent today and it means -not having being or existence, and not present under specified conditions or in a specified place. So now I don’t want to feed him at all, but, if anything, I’m all about compromise. After all, he pays me to work in his office as his assistant in his scratch and sue law office; I just don’t want to be an ass-istant at night. Can you type this? Can you cook that? Can you clean this? So what do you cook for a husband who isn’t really a husband in a marriage that doesn’t really exist – prenuptial words – not mine. Take-out, take-out and more take-out, that turns into take-in, take-in, and more take-in. I like to say everything three times just so it sinks in. So everyone, the trick is to buy from the bin were combinations of food look like hours of dicing, slicing and marinating, something that looks like it required a process. Now you’ve not only saved time cooking, but going through the grocery store and filling up the cart with fresh unwashed, unsliced, and raw meat not required. So tonight I’m buying the special under the homemade sign. I won’t eat it because just today I’ve become a vegetarian. So I bring homemade home an hour before he comes home and pour it in a pan, drip a little on the side – tonight the homemade is chicken stew and I keep the pot open so the odor seeps into the air and waifs through the house. Open the rice container and put that into a smaller pan, and mixed bin vegetables in another. Tonight the vegetables are cut as if I did it myself, Great! Heat everything about 15 minutes before he comes home and voila! Homemade at home. Now I used to make a salad every night, two years of salad making and I must admit, the salad was much better when we were just living together. It does seem like a backwards life, the salad should be better after marriage, but it’s funny how a prenuptial agreement changes the position of happiness. And by the way, making salad can be dangerous, after all, there is a chance I might cut myself on a tomato or cucumber, and this marriage isn’t worth losing a finger over, so I guess its container salad too. Oh, I almost forgot, but to make it more realistic, I leave out strategic spice bottles on the kitchen counter and random pieces of lettuce in the sink. This is just another one-sided negotiation in this prenup marriage. When he says, this is great, and he will, I’ll say thanks and that I’ve been cooking all afternoon. Of course, I won’t be hosting any cooking show in the near future unless it’s how to cook in five minutes of less, because the show would be shot of me in the check-out line.
Don’t Signonara your rights!!!
‘Til next time – The Prenuptial Wife

Reply

I personally think that a prenuptial agreement is almost like marriage insurance – something you get if you aren’t sure that your marriage will work out. Thanks for sharing!

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mozella worden

Practical analysis . I was enlightened by the details ! Does anyone know if I might find a fillable a form example to fill out ?

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Donna Ross

There should be prenuptial agreements because if you love that person you should not get upset for signing such a agreement.There is a reason for it.

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