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I'm going to go ahead and potentially get publicly slammed for this opinion...

July 8th, 2008 at 06:21 pm

I'm going to bring up a topic that -well-I have never come across publicly discussed on a personal level. This topic seems to be more harshly judged than sex and only seems to be discussed between close friends for only a few minutes. When this topic is verbally discussed, voices lower, and suddenly it sounds like you are discussing the death of a loved one.

It's a mix of planning the wedding and watching Suze Orman that reminded me I still gotta get it done. (So you all know where I stand on the issue)

Pre-nups. What do you think? Better question, what do you have? I am thinking alot of people advise others to get pre-nups when they themselves dont have one.
I have privately given this topic alot of thought. I am for it. For me. Now there are alot of pros and cons here. So I dont think there is a universal law applying to all people. Here is my reasoning, next I want to hear yours.

I have never been married or divorced. I dont know how I would react in a divorce, but can't believe I would not act emotionally, rather than logically. I might try and take the man for all he is worth. I might drag out a divorce to make him suffer. I dont know. I have seen it happen. Why would I think I am above that, when others have behaved this way?

Now you will ask why I am thinking I might get a divorce when I am planning a wedding. But I'm trying to be practical. If over 50% of marriages end in divorce, I truly dont think those couples planned to get a divorce either. They were equally or more in love than I am. I think it's very arrogant of me to assume my marriage will last when 50% of others dont.

I have some assets to protect, but when Baseball boy and I agreed to a pre- nup (my idea) he had the earning potential to just slaughter any income I ever make. I wanted to protect him. From me. From a revengeful, spiteful version of me. I wanted to plan the 'divorce' when we were in love, so we would agree on a fair division, and think this through rationally.

Baseball boy was initially against it. But could not really express why. So after he got used to the idea he agreed to it. But he doesnt like to talk about it. Planning "it" (I dont even like saying the word publicly myself) has fallen on my shoulders. Baseball boy is still uncomfortable with it and just tries to get out of the conversation ASAP whenever I bring it up.

So, pre-nuptial agreements, anyone want to open this pandoras box with me?

28 Responses to “I'm going to go ahead and potentially get publicly slammed for this opinion...”

  1. compulsive debtor Says:

    God, yes, get a prenup, girl! I love my husband dearly and have no plans of getting divorced, but we both agreed when we got married 14 years ago that a prenup was necessary for the exact same reasons you see the need for one. It's better to be safe (and sane) than sorry down the road.

  2. dwallyfam Says:

    If you have a lot of assets to protect or are bringing children in from other marriages/relationships they are a good thing.

    If you an average joe but do have the potential to earn a LOT of money they could be a good thing.

    Some courts will through out a prenup because it wasn't fair or some other loop hole

    That being said DH and I don't have one even though I do stand to get a large inheritance (if things remain the same) when my dad passes away. Not banking on that but it will be hard to share with him.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    You're right. Divorces can be ugly. They can bring out sides to people that they themselves maybe never knew existed. Divorces can also be amicable, where neither party really wants to drag it out.

    My uncle and his now ex-wife's divorce falls clearly in the first category. It took over 3 YEARS for their divorce to be finalized. With them, it was a pretty clear cut case of adultery on my ex-aunt's part. In one of their final hearings, she tried to get the BMW by saying that her car was falling apart. My uncle then produced pictures of a new corvette - which she owned. The saddest part of the whole mess are their two kids and how topsy turvy their life has been.

    My parent's divorce falls into the second category. My dad's attitude was basically, if it can be replaced with a check, why fight it? The funny thing is, he has ended up getting back most of what he let my mom have in the first place - as she's moved to various places, then remarried. (I also got some furniture upgrades in the process.)

    I'm not married, never have been, but hope to some day. At one time I would have been strongly on the side of NO WAY NEVER regarding pre-nups. But the more I've seen of this world, the more I've seen of how people you think you know VERY well, can change in an instant . . . the more I've come to think that a pre-nup isn't a bad idea. If I ever marry, I plan on going into it with the word "divorce" not even in my vocabulary -- but . . . a pre-nup is kind of an insurance policy like disability insurance. Something you hope never happens, but will be awfully darn glad to have if it does.

  4. gamecock43 Says:

    I am wondering if pre-nups are still a 'celebrity' type of thing, or if my generation is starting to get into it. None of my friends have one. Not a whole lot are married though. But few have positive reactions to the idea. I am wondering if the pre-nup process makes you feel secure, or gets ugly and yucky. I have never heard of a real life (non celebrity) person going through the process.

  5. compulsive debtor Says:

    Assuming you never have to use it, once you get it and get married and live happily ever after, you tend to forget about it.

  6. sillyoleme Says:

    I don't know anyone personally with a pre-nup, but like you said, it's not a topic that's discussed alot either.

    BF & I won't have a pre-nup, mostly because I just have an "all-or-nothing" mentality about marriage I guess. I just feel like if I am preparing for the possibility of a divorce, then I'm not really ready to get married. (I'm not saying that is the case with you guys - just us personally.)

    I also think a pre-nup kind of undermines some of the basic aspects of marriage. I mean, it's supposed to be two people coming together and sharing life as one. You are supposed to trust each other, work through hard times, and come out of everything together... even if nothing else works out. Of course, that is the ideal marriage, I know it doesn't always work out that way.

    We also won't have a pre-nup because neither one of us really has assets to out-weigh the other's. I guess if you are a millionaire, and want to know if the person you've been dating for 6 months just wants your money, then a pre-nup is essential.

  7. baselle Says:

    Isn't it funny how planning for the worse signals to a certain type that the worst will happen... Its like insurance. Just because you buy flood insurance doesn't mean you are hoping for a flood. It means that you have assessed the risk. You can't get divorced if you are single - if you get married, divorce is a risk. Kudos to you for thinking about it; double kudos because you would probably be the side with fewer assets. BTW, I don't believe that you have fewer assets; I sounds like you are rich in the unquantifiable ones. Smile

  8. cptacek Says:

    One thing, gamecock, you say if he becomes a big time player and then you get divorced, you don't think you are entitled to any of his money. Well, right now you are tagging along after him, not able to get a job, not able to buy a house, not able to settle down like you would like to. You are sacrificing so he can do his thing. Once he does make it, don't you think you should get some of that? You are helping him to get to his goal, so once it happens, you should get rewarded as well.

    Just my two cents. No opinion on the pre-nup except don't be over-generous.

  9. cptacek Says:

    Oh, and the oft recited statistic that 50% of marriages fail is pretty much a myth (quoted from the New York Times):

  10. aevans1206 Says:

    If this were a man you didn't know that well (or as well as you do), I'd say definitely pre-nup if you're feeling uncomfortable about certain things. However, you've been with baseball boy for ten years. I think you know how he'd react in light of a divorce (for example, I know my husband would just hand over everything, no questions asked). But to each his or her own!

  11. Swimgirl Says:

    I don't think it's arrogant to assume your marriage will last. I think it shows positive thinking and a willingness to do what you have to to make things work.

    You need a heart to heart chat. A pre-nup is a good idea, I think. I have a friend whose husband just left her (after 25 years---she thought her life was so secure!) and she is getting practically nothing. He schemed a little ahead of time and rearranged his retirement, etc. to work in his favor in a settlement. She worked, stayed home with the kids, got screwed.

    No, not that it will happen, but you owe it to yourself and your future children to make sure that you'll be taken care of.

  12. monkeymama Says:

    I would think a community like this would be more supportive of a pre-nup.

    I personally didn't have a prenup because my spouse and I met at 18/19 and came into the marriage as equals (with absolutely nothing. LOL). Our families are pretty equal. Our earnings were always equal when we both worked. So basically they thoughts never crossed our mind; no point in our case.

    But now that I have assets to my name, I would rethink that seriously, if I were to remarry. In fact I am not sure if I would want to marry again without a prenup. The playing field has changed MUCH.

    My sister married very young, but probably should have gotten one. Both times.

  13. gamecock43 Says:

    Baseball boy no longer has the potential to make big money (well, its always a possibility) but we have been engaged almost 4 yrs, so when I first started thinking about pre-nups he did then have the potential to make money.
    I'm not being over generous even if he did make big money. During my following him around time I got a masters degree, and if we were just settled down in one spot, we would be each working full time and I wouldnt have gotten the degree. So I feel that helping him with his dream, he also helped me by providing a lifestyle where I could get the degree.
    I feel very self sufficient and would be fine without his money even if he was making big money. But it would be different if there were kids involved, which is why I dont think pre-nups are for everyone.
    And avens~ I think Baseball boy is the same as your husband, and would want to just give me whatever it took to end the problem, but like frugaltexan says, "people change in an instant" even people you know inside and out.

  14. gamecock43 Says:

    Swimgirl~ its just stories like yours, where the partner doesnt see anything coming, that causes my cynism (sp?). I have seen that type of thing as well. Imagine that happening. It's like my worst nighmare, next to Baseball boy getting killed, him leaving me in the middle of the night and not seeing it coming at all~ I just panic at the idea of being that clueless and vulnerable. And how can I assume that I am smarter than others and would see it coming when others cant? (yes, I bring up that line alot)

  15. cptacek Says:

    Oh, I know how you feel about that one, gamecock. I felt it all the way up until I saw him in the church before the wedding Smile I don't feel that way anymore, though.

  16. merch Says:

    My thoughts on prenups are to protect assets going into the marriage or protect the childrenís interest for another marriage.

    My wife and I never had a prenup. We entered the marriage with no children and a similar amount of assets. I have always out earned her by double. If we had gotten a divorce, we would have left with what we had going into the marriage.

    Since we have been married I have doubled my income and tripled my retirement accounts. My understanding is that these additional assets would not be covered by a prenup. Especially since we have kids and she doesnít work.

    If you donít have a lot of assets (by a lot I mean a million plus) or have kids, I wonít get a prenup because you have nothing to protect. If you are getting a prenup over a couple of hundred grand, you probably should take a step back and reevaluate getting married.

    I would recommend you concentrate more on the leading factors of a divorce, mainly poor communication, financial problems, lack of commitment to the marriage, infidelity, and differences in priorities.

    I guess I just donít know what you would be protecting in a prenup.

  17. rob62521 Says:

    Go for the prenup...my hubby didn't want to talk about life insurance, but is now glad we got it. Your honey needs to protect you and him. A friend is going through a divorce after 32 years of marriage and no pre-nup. They aren't being hateful, but it's getting stressful and ugly nonetheless.

  18. Ima saver Says:

    I did not have a prenup when i got married for the 2nd time. I did own my own house free and clear and I never had his name put on my house. After 7 years, we moved and he built us a new house which then i had the deed put in both names. I know that if we ever split, we would divide things up 50/50 even though he works all the time and I have not worked for years. It has been 31 years, so I hope we are stuck together for life. I love him to death!!

  19. disneysteve Says:

    I haven't read all of the responses but wanted to add my thoughts.

    We don't have a pre-nup. Why? Because neither of us brought any assets into the marriage and neither of us had any children of our own prior to the marriage, so there was nothing to protect.

    I think prenups are something to think about when there are assets and/or kids prior to the marriage because then there is something to protect.

    Is a prenup planning for the marriage to fail? One could look at it that way, but the simple fact is that many marriages do end in divorce. I see nothing wrong with both partners putting some rules in place to proctect themselves.

  20. Caoineag Says:

    I am a big fan of prenups. The people I know who have them are usually business owners (no one wants to have to sell their baby because of a divorce). If I ever had to remarry, I guarantee I would get one because by then I would probably have substantial assets.

    That said, my husband and I do not have one because there was nothing to protect. Having met in college, we were both broke.

  21. Broken Arrow Says:

    Having already been through a divorce, I say OH HECK YES to a pre-nup from this point out. Why?

    At best, they will greatly simplify things. At worst, well, they may be invalid or subject to legal battles. But if things are going to swing towards the worst, I believe having a pre-nup will still help, not hinder the process, because at least something is written down rather than having it all up in the air, resulting in even uglier legal battles.

    I think you're very wise to give this issue serious consideration. I think you're very wise for not letting arrogance get the better of you. I think you should do it. You can always change the terms of the pre-nup (or remove it completely) later.

  22. debtfreeme Says:

    The thing with the latest versions of a prenup are not just for financial reasons but they also spell out how some decisions will be made concerning family issues down to how many times a month they have sex. It truly depends on where you stand in your relationship.

    It can also state something along the lines of: if a divorce happens we agree to be adults and to split all assets in the marriage equally.

    A friend got one when she married and her had funny parts to it too: She promises to make his favorite milk shake the third Sunday of the month (or something like that). He promises not to complain longer than 1 minute when they are late leaving the house and he can't sulk. They both promise not to spend more than 1k a year on certain activities (he likes hunting and all that entails she like to shop for Christmas present year round) etc. so a prenup can also spell out how to live your life as a married couple not just what happens if a divorce happens.

    They can also spell out how you would help a family member or care for an aging adult. What kinds of care they expect for each other for future medical issues etc.

    Marriage is not just some social contract; there are financial and legal implications as well. Plan how you like.

    Will I have one? I don't know.

    Great topic!

  23. gamecock43 Says:

    Im just keeping mine to: in the event of divorce, what I brought to the marriage goes with me and vice versa. Everything earned during the marriage will be split. I'm not into all the funky stuff.

  24. Nic Says:

    Pre-nups are great.....for GROWN UPS.
    Your baseball "boy" isn't ready for a job,a house,a discussion,a future,responsibility,accountability.
    And,the majors aren't rushing to sign him
    WHY rush into a wedding w/a "child" who still depends on you and his daddy to support him? But if for some reason you must marry him, by all means, get that pre-nup FIRST.
    Right now,YOU have the earning potential,so you owe it to yourself to protect yourself.

  25. Pea Says:

    I think you should get a pre-nup if you are thinking about it otherwise it will be "one of those things" that will nag you constantly after you are married.
    I know that having a pre-nup feels counterintuitive but life insurance has the same effect too but it is a necessary instrument that helps us protect our loved ones.
    A prenup protects you both if you are ever in a postiton where emotions and not logic rules.

    Having said that I wish you the best and hope your prenup is never activated.

  26. Analise Says:

    I am adding my two cents now since I have been on vacation and away from my computer.

    My DH and I have a prenup because ours is a second marriage and I had more assets than he did. It was more about insuring what would be fair to our children and not at all about thinking we might get divorced. Along with developing the prenup, we established two trusts: one is the "(my name) Sole and Separate Property Trust" and the other is our Community Property Trust.

    The first time I married I was 19 and we had very little assets, so we never even thought about a prenup. However, during that marriage, my parents died and I inherited a fairly large sum of money. My ex got 50% of everything so I wish someone had advised me to get a prenup with first husband. I made the mistake of co-mingling my inheritance and using some of it to fund his business, so it was useless to try to get sorted out.

  27. Jerry Says:

    I would definitely use a pre nump. It is a great tool in the event of something happening (not that it would). I have read some of your previous posts and I understand that baseball boy has some financial troubles. Just to protect yourself I would look into it. Once you get it just forget about it.

  28. greengirl Says:

    prenups aren't recognised in australia as legal documents.
    that being said, there are other documents that can be drawn up. even now, as we prepare to buy property together, i think it is only fair to draw up a legal document that states that BF is contributing 2/3 of the costs of repayments and I only one third. because i love him, and i would never ever want to hurt him, and i can't bear to think of such a thing as us parting ways, but like you said, it's the If Factor, and that's why these things are done in the first place. Smile

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