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May 27, 2010

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Get a prenup! Might not be sexy, but will def help you out in case of divorce; and lets face it with over a 50% chance of that happening, its better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourself upfront so her future potential lawyer doesn't have his fun in the rear (pun intended). In all seriousness, divorces are messy and only get messier when a lawyer is involved, protect your assets.

No offense, but I think the problem is in your approach to a pre-nup. I understand that you wish to have one to protect yourself, but a pre-nup should be used to protect both of you - and that's how you should approach it. Your girlfriend has an inheritance coming; this is "family wealth" and should stay in the family in the event you divorce. Your savings and investments were instituted by your parents, it is also be viewed as "family wealth" that should stay in the family in the event you divorce. If you remove the "you and her" aspect from the discussion, it becomes much easier to talk about.

Does she have any idea there are assets behind you? Is your family's wealth known to her? Or does she think your are an average 26 year old from average parents?
Do you have a high status career that could hint of higher future income?

If she has some idea there is wealth, then a discussion shouldn't be too out of left field when the time comes. If she has no clue, you need to fill her in a bit before discussing the pre-nup. Two bomb shells at one time when she has just got engaged might be a bit much.


How I've handled it was to say, "xyz is trying to figure out how to talk to abc about signing a pre nub. I have no idea what to say." This way you get her thoughts on the issue in the context of another relationship. (pre engagement assessment.) Depending on how she responds- "I can believe he would make her do that." or "He totally should get one", you'll be better prepared when the real discussion comes.

It could be a non issue. For me it was a non issue. "If we ever get married I assume we are having one."

If it is an issue, you need to help her understand it has nothing to do with the relationship or the love you feel for her. A pre-nup removes money from the equation. It frees you to marry and stay married without any reservations. (When I marry, I will give my wife some money. I want her to have the financial freedom to leave me.) Without knowing both of you its a bit hard to provide more than this.

Everyone I know with assets has one. You must get one. Part of being a steward for this money is securing it from any kind of loss. There is no way I would ever marry without one. And it really doesnt do a whole lot in my state.

Also ask your family's lawyer how he might handle it. I'm sure he will have some valuable advice. Make sure she has her own lawyer, paid for from her check book (not yours), review it and provide advice.

Well, you already are keeping secrets from her--nice start. Maybe she is keeping some from you?

Anyway, more than just a pre-nup is needed. the two of you need a long (difficult no doubt) conversation about money. What are you views concerning saving, spending, investing? Do you and she share similiar views--say sort of like the FMF approach? If not how do you two plan to reconcile differences?

Then move on to the future: By this I mean how will you divide household costs and expenditures, medical costs, children ( and their education)? If she will be working too, are you going to expect her to come up with 50%? Is that really fair?(It wouldn't be to me, but that's me)

So to be clear, yes you want a pre-nup. I like the above poster's comment about family wealth. But give this a lot of thought because the discussion is more than just your stuff. This is fraught with danger to you both. And if I may be so bold, I'd like to recommend that you not surprise her with a discussion that comes out of the blue. (Eg, HOney btw, I wan t a prenup). Give her advanced notice that you want to talk about finances and that you want her to have a couple of dyas to think on the topic.

Be prepared for a variety of reactions including her be seriously annoyed or more.

Good luck.

There are 2 types on advice one should never ask for from strangers over the internet... 1) financial and 2) ethical. You, my friend, have broken both rules in one single post.

If you want financial advice regarding a pre-nup, you have $1.2m for goodness sakes; hire a freakin' financial adviser and/or attorney. If you want ethical advice, consult your parents; you know the ones who instilled in you your ethics and from whom the very money we speak about derives. I'm guessing they might have something to say on the matter...

I find myself agreeing with both Tom and Tyler--with one exception.
And that is on the lawyer part. I agree with getting some advice but I recommend some who can offer thoughts and ask questions that relate to emotional issues. A lawyer will attempt to protect and safeguard Your intersts. That's their job. Someone trained couples counselling imho would be better. Of course get lawyers to draw it up.

Pay particular attn to tom's first sentence.

I'm sorry but getting a prenup is expecting your marriage to fail. Instead of discussing prenups and spending time and energy in that, spend time and energy ensuring you will stay together.

I forget the exact statistics, but if you agree on money, religion, and one or two other things, your chance of divorce plumments to near 0.

If you really want to protect your money work on your relationship, not a prenup.

Jason do you have any assets worth protecting?

Billv-

good point, let me clarify. I mentioned the lawyer only because he might have seen what has worked and hasnt worked simply because he is involved in a number of these transactions. "one guy did XYZ and it blew up in his face. Dont do xyz." "The ones that seem to go over the best do abc." Maybe he cant offer this insight but the nature of his position could offer a "best practices" if you will.

Yes I do. At the time we were married I had a house, stocks, other retirement accounts, and an airplane. I also stand to inherit a good amount of money one day.

We've since sold the airplane as we are looking to buy a newer one.

I've only been married 3 and a half years, but I definitely believe the best way to protect your assets is to work on your relationship. I've always been one to trust in God though, so my best advice would be to pray on it before making such a decision.

I see nothing wrong with him not telling his girlfriend about his money ... it would only be wrong if he were to not tell her after they are engaged.

As for a pre-nup, the laws vary from state to state ... I was advised by a lawyer to avoid a pre-nup since much of my inherited wealth would not have become community property anyway.

Jason,
While I appreciate your thoughts and in fact am glad some says to the poster: "Don't get one". I suggest that no matter how much a couple agrees on stuff, and no matter how hard you work on a relationship, sometimes life happens.

I happen to infer (poster if I am wrong, I apologize) from his post that there may be a number of things they have not discussed. That I base on his saying he has not told her how much he is worth. I'm guessing Jason that you would not think that keeping secrets is a good way to begin a lifelong commitment.

The following is a large leap and may not be fair:
I wonder what else the couple has not discussed and determined that share: religon, children, who stays a t home if anyone, lifestyles, where they live, willingness to locate, and even recreational activities. Jason, apparently you did this. It is not obvious that the poster has. If he hasn't, then I suggest he give it some thought.

Definitely get pre-nup. One selling point may be to mention it is better to discuss the ramification of a divorce now with cool heads than in the middle of a very emotional situation. The pre-nup would include how to deal with kids, finance, housing, etc.

Divorces can get ugly and ugly divorces cost a lot money - a pre-nup will help you avoid it.

Michael,
I partially agree with you. While she was his girl friend he had no reason nor obligation to tell her. But now he is on the cusp of proposing. I'd recommend he have these kind of discussion before they are engaged. And I say that as much for her benefit as his. Breaking up with boy/girlfriend is different than breaking an engagement.

If you disagree, well, okay.

This is a really personal decision. It also seems like an odd situation to me. How does she not know that you're wealthy already? My husband and I started sharing all our personal and financial details a few months after we started dating...right around when we knew we were getting serious and didn't want to be with anyone else again. We weren't wealthy but we have semi-wealthy families.

Anyway, maybe she believes a prenup would be a good idea too and then this is all moot. If she doesn't believe in prenups, you two might have to part ways since I don't see this as a comprimisable position...how would you compromise on a prenup?

Personally, I'd never sign one unless the guy was trying to protect assets that effected others (trust fund for a kid he has or a family scholarship fund or whatever). Otherwise, if he isn't sure about our future together, I'd think he wasn't ready to get married. I wouldn't be offended, but I'd know we shouldn't be getting hitched.

That's obviously just how I feel and won't apply to others, so I think you and your wife-to-be just need to sit down and have an honest conversation. She may want to protect her family wealth the same way you want to protect what you have...

BillV -- good point. My wife and I benefited from having those kinds of talks leading up to us deciding to get married. A short while after that I did the romantic proposal thing.

BFS
She doesn't know cause he kept it a secret. Potentially a problem. That's why I think they need more discussion. If he just drops the P-bomb on her without laying some foundation, she, like you, will be offended. Off topic a bit, I think she may be more offended that he kept a secret from her that the Pre-nupit.

Sorry, but I disagree with most of the posts here. Getting a pre-nup is saying that "my money is more important than you". Marriage should be a full commitment. Two become one. I brought much more to my marriage in assets. My wife brought debt. After marriage, there is no more hers, mine and ours.

Personally, I would be very offended if my bf/fiance wanted a prenup. My husband and I, though we did not have any large assets to speak of, went into our marriage with the intent of it lasting forever. Any assets we acquire from now on will be our assets, no matter who earns them. Any money we had going into the marriage became our money. Divorce is simply not an option for us. Some of you may roll your eyes and say I don't know what I am talking about, but I KNOW we will never get divorced. This relationship ought to be more important to you than any amount of money. I think it is sad that so many people go into marriage supposing it has a good chance of ending in divorce. Forget the statistics! Only you know yourself and your relationship.

Many, many years ago my soon-to-be husband and I had very frank discussions about finances. This was before pre-nups were a common occurrence, and neither of us had much money anyway. We also talked in depth about "what if the marriage doesn't work"; we were both prepared to walk away with what we walked in with. Yes, marriage is a full commitment, but IMHO, looking at all possible outcomes makes for better decisions and realistic expectations.

Looking back, I think those discussions helped build a strong relationship. We are still very happily married.

So, my advice is have the talk with your girlfriend. You will find your answers only then. If you can't talk openly now, it won't get easier when married.

The guy has over a million dollars! Seriously, if his future wife left him one day would she deserve money that was his before the marriage? I don't think so. Now, if I were the girlfriend I would make sure I get some sort of pay out... perhalps a couple hudred thousand ;-) Yeah, we all go into marriage believing it will last forever, but it take two to make it happen and you just never know...

I strongly disagree with the advice by BillV and Tom.

I agree with the advice by Tyler except for the fact about asking her in some round about way about what she thinks of other people getting pre-nups. That's a total setup and once you start talking about your own pre-nup she is likely to realize it was a setup.

The fact that you kept your true wealth situation secret is also not a problem, but I think quite wise. How long you keep it a secret might be open for debate but it's definitely better to hold that information too long than reveal it too quickly.

As to whether you should get a pre-nup, this is always going to be an issue that people take very strong stances on. Highly religious people (I am one) tend to take the stance that you should not have one because marriage is supposed to be forever. Highly practical people (I am one) tend to take the stance that you should have one because you never know what the future will bring.

I entered my marriage with considerable assets (about 1/4 of what you have but still a fair amount) and my wife had pretty much zero. I did not get a pre-nup. However in your case, I think it likely makes sense. I cannot know your personal relationship situation but given how much wealth you have especially that was provided for you by others it makes sense to make sure it stays in the family (along the lines of the advice given by Rod Ferguson above which is also pretty good). There are countless reasons why marriages end and while plenty are able to weather the storms of life, plenty also do not, for whatever reason. If that were to happen and you lost half of that which was provided for you by your parents I suspect it would leave you jaded and bitter in addition to potentially devastated by the divorce.

But please don't play games with the topic. You need to let her know what your financial situation is, how your parents provided for a good portion of it and then you need to talk about that money staying in the family. Unfortunatley I don't feel I have any special insight into how to broach the whole topic. It's a pretty gross topic so I don't envy you.

To think that what assets you had when you walked into a marriage will still be yours when/if you leave sounds naive to me. No one goes into marriage expecting it to fail. But some marriages fail. And what you think your spouse/fiance would do in that circumstance (treat you fairly) may not end up happening. The reality is that how you feel/react NOW while in the midst of a divorce is completely different than a how you were in your previously harmonious relationship.

People cheat on each other and then feelings are hurt...revenge ensues;

What the spouses saved for the kids' college fund winds up being fought over;

And many couples stay together yet sever all emotional ties simply because divorce is too costly.

My parents are divorced and they have admitted that it isn't something either one ever expected, "not in a million years" (they say).

Get the pre-nup, but make it an "us" issue, as another commenter suggested.

I was terrified to broach the topic of pre-nup with my then-fiance (we've been married 4 years now, and together almost a decade). My mom was pretty hell-bent on us having one as I jointly own property with my siblings in a trust, and brought significant assets into the marriage and will likely inherit more. The biggest surprise was that my fiance had absolutely no problem with it -- his view was that he wasn't after the money I was bringing into the marriage. That said, we are definitely a team when it comes to current earnings -- joint accounts and joint investment decisions. His 401K has taken considerable priority for years because I had so much in investments coming into the marriage. Couple of tips:
- Just bring it up honestly. I told him I needed to have a serious discussion and I was terrified of bringing it up and how he might react, and that I didn't want him to think that I didn't expect the marriage to last, but I wanted to be sure to protect my brother's joint interests in our trusts (my father passed away early in my 20s).
- State law will vary, especially in some states like California, but my lawyer told me that in general, a judge will consider non-comingled funds that existed prior to the marriage to be that person's individual assets in the case of divorce, even without a pre-nup (I'm in Georgia). Unless you're a celebrity or a multi-millionaire, pre-nups are more of a guideline because you may get divorced in another state from where the pre-nup was formed, and the laws from the state of divorce may supersede, etc. So a good guideline is to not comingle funds -- for instance, I provided the entire considerable down payment for our house. The check for that was cut from an account in my name only directly at closing. The house is in both of our names, but I have a paper trail that the down payment money never entered a joint account. Now, the equity from mortgage payments would be different as that comes from earnings during the marriage. Same with investment accounts, husband's name is not on them. Also, you won't be able to set forth any child support measures in the pre-nup, that is ALWAYS decided by the court.
- You will both need lawyers, being represented by the same lawyer is a conflict of interest and any good lawyer shouldn't even suggest it. However, this will incur a financial burden on both of you. My husband's lawyer was a little less than $1K for the pre-nup consultation, but my lawyer was the one who drew up most of the documents.
- It might have been a little easier for me to broach because I am a woman looking to protect assets. I know my brother really struggled with approaching this topic with his wife. Whatever you do, don't have your lawyers spring the document on her without reviewing it first to make sure both parties are protected.

If she doesn't even know, then you're not ready to get engaged.

I think the pre-nup is a decision that only the two of you can make, but you have to do it as adults with all the information.

It blows my mind to consider marrying someone when they would hide anything from me, not to mention something this mind-numbingly huge. That's a big red flag to me. You're not even there yet buddy.

Check out the book, "Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements." My boyfriend's roomate read the book prior to marrying his wife. They were both in their early 40's with kids and financial issues from previous marriages. While your situation is different, the book is very readable and gives many good reasons for a prenup.

I agree with dogatemyfinances. Secrets are not for people about to get married.

I find all the prenup stuff weird. I guess the person values money more than the relationship and wants a legal way out to protect those assets. I guess that is why when I got married that a marriage is not only a union recongnized by the state but it a covenant before God. Also known as a binding commitment not to be broken.

So get your prenup because as far as I am you are going down the path to failure.

Best advice I ever received:

Prior to getting married my wife and I spoke with a CPA and Financial Planner. The topics were varied, including pre-nup and tax filing issues.

Here is what you do: Plan a day to discuss finances with your significant other. Lay out how you would see your accounts separated or combined. How bills will be covered. How future financial expectations should be met. Basically, plan for how you will live together and pay for life.

After this conversation meet with this CPA / Financial planner. Have them primed to bring up a Pre-Nup as a "necessary" component of the marriage and appropriate financial planning. Make sure they answer any questions that may be brought up by your significant other.

Some may say this is underhanded, but I feel you can have a third-party be the beginning of the conversation. Have them explain why it is necessary for both persons security. It lessens the blow and you will be able to gauge how your significant other feels about the issue. And by this point you are already well into the financial discussions.

if you have assets before marriage, you need to get a prenup. people who dont are naive beyond belief. i know some women might get offended, but seriously, if they dont see that family wealth should stay in the family, they need to wise up. its not an omen for divorce, its just protecting yourself, just like insurance.

Get the prenup. It is a must have for the two of you coming into the marriage with assets. HOWEVER, even the best prenups are worthless if you co-mingle assets. Any co-mingled assets during the marriage are marriage property at least in a community property state (where I live). In the event of a divorce you must be able to show your assets you came to the marriage with where seperate the whole time otherwise it gets messy really fast.

What is your perspective on marriage? I think the divide we're seeing in comments here is in many ways a religious/marriage discussion. Those who (like me) are Christians and see marriage as covenant between the people getting married and God, and therefore as something that cannot be broken, don't see any need for a pre-nup. In fact, getting one would basically be "wrong" because you aren't actually giving your whole self to your spouse.

But if that's not how you view marriage then I can't say I blame you for wanting a pre-nup, and if she comes from a similar background then she probably won't either.

I'm getting married in 10 days with a significant financial cushion underneath me provided to me by my family/inheritance. I don't see any need to "protect" it because of my and my fiancee's view of what marriage actually is, and we do not and will not have a pre-nup. For your situation, with potentially different views on what a marriage actually is, then it might make a lot of sense to get one.

As I understand the "50% divorce" statistic, it applies to all marriages, including successive marriages. Most first marriages last a lifetime. And then there are those who get married two or three or more times.

I think you should have a prenup given your wealth. I think its matter of how you frame the discussion. No one plans for a marriage to fail, but they do, and having a plan in place makes a terrible situation a little bit more manageable. I would recommend beginning the your financial conversation with, how will we plan to spend our money. You know, joint or separate accounts (a mix?), financial goals/savings plans and a budget. Then discuss family assets. I think Rod had very good advice about discussing in terms of family wealth staying in the family. The prenup should be a protection for both you and your girlfriend. Hire professionals to help you, make sure she has a lawyer as well so that she has someone acting in her best interest as the terms of the prenup are negotiated.

yes...you need a prenup. Most women change after they get hitched. Most women are simply gold diggers...you find this out during a divorce. Are you in a marital property state? Check this out too. Also divorce lawyers love to chew up the $$$. If you have kids...and pay child support...you'll pay and pay. Let's face it...if you get a divorce ... the lady of the house is going to get the kids, 1/2 the cash (if no prenup), almony, etc. Thank the family courts for this reality. Just don't get married. Men get screwed and women run off with the $$$$.......

If you don't love her enough to give her everything you have and walk away, you don't love her enough to get married.

Pren-ups are a cop out for people who want to play house but aren't ready to really commit.

Are you in, or are you out?

you should go for pre-nup only because it makes sense, not because you are afraid of the unknown...
"because I want to know that she loves me for who I am rather than what is in my bank account." - if you still "want to know", I guess you are not ready for marriage yet...

Marriage is public [legal, family involvement], Love is private [just you two].

Love has two phases - physical [lust], and sustaining [compatibility].

Although money attitude is part of compatibility - and you would be lucky if you and your future wife are compatible - money in the end is enforced by the public part of the relationship [legal].

Look at what the world is doing to better "organize" marriages in the modern age. In Denmark, both men and women work, and both men and women choose to have children with the other - but in no way do they become financially dependent on the other once married [or divorced]. The social pressure's off. The jury's still out on how children do under this way of relating, but so far so good.

I think Thankful's comments are right on.

I would approach this gently, letting her know that your family has some rather complicated financial and business deals. And that the responsible thing to do it draw up a prenup that would delineate that what is your families is to remain your families. This isn't about trying to keep money from her, this is about honoring your family and keeping things from getting really messy if you ever divorced. Everything you build together is yours together, and she would get half (in a community property state) of that in a divorce.

Also, I'd check with a lawyer first, but, at least in my state, what's yours before the marriage is yours after the divorce as long as you don't commingle. So your prenup would only be clarifying what the law generally says.

I totally understand your fear, but I think there's a decent chance this conversation will go better than you expect. Some women get really nervous anytime the word prenup is mentioned and get very hurt, but many others will recognize that there's no reason why she should get money that your parents saved, and will have no issue with this. The people that freak out usually are those that don't know much about finances, so if you need to cover some basic financial concepts first, that might be a good place to start.

Best of luck to you in the conversations, and in your marriage.

It's a no brainer. Make a full disclosure as early as possible and then get a pre-nup.

Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns, realised this in 1785 when he wrote the poem - "To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, with the Plough"

But little Mouse, you are not alone, ............English translation
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, .................Original version
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

@Poster
So plenty of asked for advice here; with a fair range of opinions.

What you going to do?

I agree with Zach. It all depends on how you view marriage and the vows that you make - how serious are you. If you have never talked about this...do it now. There are some great pre marriage counselling resources out there that get to the issues that will make or break your marriage. Planning a wedding or "being in love" doesn't guarantee a great marriage...but a great marriage can be had. Pre nup or not talk openly, don't start with secrets or smoke and mirrors. If you can't talk about this then.....don't get married until you can.

The only good reason I can think of for having one is if your assets are jointly owned (by you and other people) and you need to make certain that the other owners aren't exposed if the marriage dissolves. If you own your assets in the clear then it really comes down to a matter of trust and no two ways about, you are projecting a lack of trust with a pre-nup.

All of my parents and grandparents got married in full religious rites and swore never to divorce, let love fall away, and to stay with one another forever. 17 marriages later, I think it's safe to say that your religion doesn't make you any less prone to divorce than if you didn't have one. This is borne out by various studies proving that Christians get just as many divorces as any other group.

That said, you definitely need to discuss the pre-nup with her once you're engaged. If your relationship can handle that discussion then you can handle pretty much anything. Not planning for a disaster is the best way to guarantee that it will go horribly. If you plan for it and nothing happens, then no harm done. You have enough money, it's not worth being embittered by losing not only a love but also all your money.

Follow the advice of (some) people here. Have the open discussion, be honest, get the pre-nup, don't co-mingle your assets, and be excited cause if you can do all of that and still be in love you can do just about anything! Just whatever you do, don't think that your religion will prevent you from getting a divorce, or that you're somehow more special than everybody else. Prepare for the worst, but enjoy the best.

Marriage is really great, a lot of fun, and can really bring out the best in both of you. All the best!

Are your parents divorced? Are her parents divorced? Are any of the siblings divorced? In other words, is there a family history of divorce ? Is there a family history of infidelity, alcoholism or other issues that will precipitate a divorce ? If so, get a prenup.

We have had other topics on this blog that revolved around the issue of marriage in general. I will have been married 54 years this coming July so I have had lots of time to think about the subject. It seems the two main problems that cause marriages to fail are either Incompatibility or Infidelity.

I met my wife when I was 16 and we married when I was 21. We were like peas in a pod when it came to compatibility - same race - same nationality - same home town - same income group - same religion - same family values - both frugal - both savers. These were issues that never crossed my mind back in 1951 when we met or in 1956 when we married, but finding compatibility was much, much easier in the England where I grew up. Things have changed there tremendously with time, just as they have in the USA. In today's world where populations are a melting pot of many cultures, I believe it's very much more difficult for a very compatible couple to find each other, that and the huge change in promiscuity and morality over the last half century have led to societies where over half of all marriages end in divorce. That's why I recommend a pre-nup in this situation - it has nothing to do with lack of trust it's just good common sense in this instance, and in today's world.

I recall a series at church years ago on marriage. I wish the video was on the internet and I could post a link. Many things were covered, but I remember one of the points made by the pastor. He spoke about marriages in which either or both spouses held the position that if things get rough, they could always just get out of the marriage. He made a point that a spouse would never feel secure in their marriage if there was always that background threat that the other could just bail on them if things just didn't go right. Imagine living in that marriage with that fear. Therefore, when we enter marriages with conditions, how is that a real commitment? We have put something at a higher importance level than the marriage itself. In this case, it is money. Is it really any wonder why money is mentioned more frequently in the New Testament? Look at the hold it has on us.

So, when we enter a pre-nup, we have basically said two things. First of all, we have said, "Hey, we might not really be fully committed to this and need to be prepared for the exit route". Secondly, we have said, "My money is more important that you and our relationship". I guess when the bible says "Two shall become one" doesn't really hold up anymore.

There is always the option of just not getting married.

JimL
In the last half century there has been a gigantic change in women's rights, in my view it was long overdue. The rights vary from state to state but here in California, without a pre-nup and since 1967, the majority of a couple's assets are joint property and divided pretty much down the middle in a divorce settlement. There is also spousal support and child support awarded in many cases. In the old days, particularly where women were not educated and trained to be able to support themselves they were often held in a bad marriage whether they liked it or not. This is another contributing reason for the increase in the divorce rate. I was raised in the Church of England, was baptized, attended Sunday school and Bible Study, had a church wedding, and had all three children baptized. Much later on in life when I started examining my beliefs and thought things through for myself I gradually realized that for me much of it didn't make any sense and today I am a complete non-believer, as is my wife. Thus it isn't religion that has held our marriage together all these years, it's simply love, caring for each other, happiness, and our family, and nothing whatsoever to do with anything written in the Bible. Particularly now that we are in our mid seventies we are finding a huge benefit from operating as a team, and each handling the tasks that we do best and like the most.

@Old Limey, great points about Incompatibility and Infidelity.

Most of what I wanted to say has already been said, but I think one or two things bear repeating.

When you commit to someone, you should want them to know that they are not "stuck" or "forced" to be with you. Do what you can to make sure they are self-sufficient/independent. In the case of a pre-nup, it might mean agreeing to some %, perhaps 25-50% that they would get regardless of how/why they leave?

At some point, the person has spent enough time with you that everything is shared. That becomes fair. I don't care how "old" the family money is.

Honesty and working on the relationship should be the priority. Then there's never any issue and you stay married. Then when you have kids or develop other interests, then there is really no issue.

You love this person right? So you should be ok with giving them some amount so they are ok and not beholden to you. Then you will know that they are staying because they want to stay. And I think that you don't need to disclose the exact amount you have, but I think that to keep it secret for a long time is disingenuous. Someone that you're dating should know that you have over 1M but under 2M. At those values, the exact amount between the two is not going to matter much.

Honestly friends, this has been an interesting thread. I have posted several comments here and have enjoyed the discussion -- even when folks have disagreed with me. I have to agree one more time with Old Limey. Unlike him, I have been married a couple of two times; each time both myself and my bride swore it was forever. My first was very religious and it was covenantly based. Ooops! Not so fast.

But my current bride and I (some 20 years) are darn happy.
Those who suggest that if the poster has to ask these questions, he's not ready. They may be right, but maybe just maybe, he just needs to talk to his intended. Finances, if not talked through, can destroy a relationship. Just talk to the Lady for pete's sake. This is very important to you poster or you would not have taken the risk of putting it out there for all us. If you can't/won't talk to her then you are not ready to marry. It's harder than you think.

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